I can finally breathe. I know you wouldn't have sensed this from my previous posts, but I've been a total wreck since last night. Kirk and our pal Jake went packing last week in the Escalante, Utah canyon. They left on 9/26 and I had received an email with their route, notifying me that they expected to be back in civilization on 9/30 or 10/1. The directions said if I hadn't heard from them the evening of 10/2 to call dispatch. I was on the phone in the wee hours of the morning with a ranger who is very familiar with the area but wasn't aware of them or their whereabouts. We talked again earlier this AM and he passed the info on to the sheriff's office because the area is under Garfield County jurisdiction. We talked quite a few times back and forth while I racked my brain for any clues or contact info I had, but the only thing I had was the emailed route. They had left with Jake's mules and planned to cover 27 miles in this wild canyon. The ranger felt confident that they had probably underestimated the amount of time, because the trek can be really dicey. He said a lot more, but the only word I remember was quicksand. I busied myself with this blog to keep me from imagining the worst. Just now the phone rang and it was Kirk. They're back, they're safe and after weeping with relief I can only say Thank God.
Thanks for letting me vent and share my relief!