thus far, we'd received only two tips: one, she has a passel of kids (nine to be exact), although apparently they are not with her at the moment. bummer, because all the noise coming from such a large brood would be much like a beacon in the night, signaling her exact location. and two, she is super duper excited to have escaped from said kids, and may be heard exclaiming her excitement quite frequently in the form of a whoop and a holler.
once at the top, we came across a small group of rather interesting-looking people chilling out in front of a large, white van. another clue! of course someone with that many children would have no choice but to drive around a bus, right? AHA! we must be on the right track.
upon questioning these kind folks, they stated that "yes, a person matching your description was just here a minute ago, whooping in between bites of a hamburger. she did mention something about visiting the outhouse-- we've heard she has quite a fondness for them. anyway, our guess is that she's camping here overnight, and will be heading down the trail come day break. so maybe check back then."
|relaxing the evening before the hike. we "camped" out in our van-- Gary and I, that is. our van is big, but not THAT big.|
|there were four couples that went on the hike. us, Keith and Kim, Loren and Jess, and Frans and Jenny.|
come morning, there was still no hint of her. in fact, the only sign of life was this same group of people we had chatted with the previous evening, only now they were a hair more giddy, their excited chitter-chatter permeating the chilly morning air.
as we progressed down the trail, we kept bumping into these strange folks. it seemed like the more miles they put behind them, the weirder they became, especially the two gents. perhaps they weren't drinking enough water. or maybe they had snuck something else into their camelbaks. hmmm.
but wait! who would so carelessly abandon their backpack and trekking poles on the ground like that? could they possibly be Jessica's? but why was she carrying such a tiny backpack? ah, bet she made that one guy carry all her stuff-- the one they keep referring to as "Gary." we've been watching him for quite some time now and seriously, the dude appears to be half mule, half energizer bunny. he just keeps going and going and...
insert sudden squelch of a walkie-talkie.
excuse us for a second, it sounds like our source is trying to send us a message. sorry, what was that? you did? okay, we'll be right there. we apologize for the interruption. we've just been informed that a few ear-piercing screams were overheard down at Havasu Falls. they think it might be her.
|the falls had such tremendous force when they hit the water, that it created a whirlpool that threatened to suck you in. this made it impossible to get underneath, or behind them even.|
|who let this goon out of the house? oh but the water was sooo refreshing! just what the doctor ordered after a long, hot, dusty hike.|
|photo credit: 2 Remember Studio|
according to a few witnesses, she was here at some point, but is currently nowhere to be seen. darn, we must've just missed her.
oh well, we'll resume our search again tomorrow.