A Big Mistake
She was confident at this point that she had made a mistake by starting the expedition. She ought never to have decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Her heart was pounding as footsteps and whispers echoed all about her tent. There was no cell service there, according to a phone test she did. The voices grew louder and louder as her thoughts scrambled to come up with something she could do.
What To Do?
18-year-old Tracy Ford just recently graduated from high school. Like most people her age, she had no idea what the future had in store for her.
Tracy did exceptionally well at school, but there were so many things she could choose from. She knew she needed some time to find what was right for her. She did, however, know one thing for certain: her favorite hobbies.
One of Tracy’s favorite things to do was to hike. She always traveled with her dog Hans, who was her most devoted travel companion. She cherished the sensation of being completely alone herself in the outdoors, exploring paths that perhaps had not been traveled for some time.
But it didn’t end there. Tracy’s obsession with hiking was motivated by something else, although she hardly ever disclosed it to others.
Clearing Her Head
Hiking has aided Tracy’s self-esteem over the years in a manner that no other exercise or level of therapy has.
She always felt confident in her ability to tackle the uncharted, the unpredictable, and the potentially deadly after finishing a particularly challenging or uncharted route. She had no idea that she was about to go through the most unsettling episode of her life.
Tracy made the decision to take a year off before deciding whether to start working or enroll in university. She also reasoned that going on a long, strenuous hike would be the greatest thing to aid her in making her choice.
It was her finest opportunity to take some alone time to consider her core desires, likes, and interests. She would have more confidence in her abilities and be more comfortable as a result. There was a problem, though.
So Many To Choose From
Which hiking trail should she choose? They were in great numbers! But this time, she desired something challenging that required her to exert all of her strength and stamina and push herself to the maximum.
She identified the Pacific Crest Trail, which is the ideal landscape for her goal, after conducting some study for a couple of days. She would, however, come to regret this decision for the rest of her life.
A Deadly Adventure
Everyone’s bells went off when Tracy revealed her choice to her parents. The 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail connects Mexico and Canada, as you may be aware. It contains hazardous areas that are tenths of a mile from any indication of civilization and are home to wild animals.
Tracy would be left alone if something happened to her. It was an experience that could very easily become deadly. Her parents tried to talk her out of it, but she was set on doing it.
Just two weeks after receiving her high school diploma, Tracy conducted the necessary study for her trip, acquired a thorough map of the region, packed her belongings, and boarded a bus with Hans to the Mexican border, where the Pacific Crest Trail begins.
Tracy intended to walk the full length of the Trail: she would set up her tent and spend the night with her dog someplace, after walking for as much as her body would permit her to, stopping for a snack before continuing. She had no idea that things were about to become bad.
A Smooth Start
At first, it appeared like Tracy’s journey would proceed without any major difficulties. She continued to walk and take in the stunning scenery for nearly two weeks.
She stepped on a rattlesnake once, and she also once experienced slight weariness brought on by dehydration, but that was all she experienced. Tracy was taken aback by how simple and enjoyable the first part of her hike had been. That, though, wouldn’t endure.
She eventually made it to Lassen National Forest. She was a little frightened after hearing about it because it was a sizable region covered in densely packed, incredibly tall trees.
It would be simple for a novice hikers to get lost in the woods if they entered the woodland without the necessary awareness of direction. But Tracy was aware of what she was entering into, and if she lacked the confidence to continue, she would never forgive herself. Maybe she made a mistake there.
She Saw Something
Tracy and Hans walked for a few miles along a path of dirt flanked by compact, dense masses of trees that rose up to the sky. They couldn’t see anything past the trees: all Tracy could do was follow the path and trust her map and compass.
The girl didn’t expect to find anyone in that area. It was June, and not many hikers ventured into the forest until July and August. But all of a sudden, her dog started barking. She turned around to see what the issue was and what she saw sent a chill down her spine.
As she recounted later, there were two strange-looking men squatting among the bushes, a few feet away from the path, staring at her. They were dressed in what seemed like shabby white robes and had long, unkempt beards.
She was shocked by the sight but thought it was none of her business what those people were doing there. She ignored them and kept walking, speeding up her pace. After a while, nighttime came, and Tracy and Hans camped in a meadow. And that’s when the problems started.
She Woke Up
It was 3 am when Tracy suddenly woke up from her slumber. The darkness inside the tent was so dense that it barely made a difference whether she had her eyes open or closed.
She got her hands out of her sleeping bag and felt around her, looking for her dog. She realized something that made her stomach drop to her knees.
Hans Was Gone
Hans was nowhere to be found! Instantly, Tracy’s heart started galloping. Nothing like that had ever happened before. Usually, when they went hiking, her dog stood by her side for the whole journey. Something was going terribly wrong.
That’s when she started hearing it. Sounds of footsteps began coming from all around her tent. They sounded human. And that wasn’t all. What she heard next made her regret ever stepping into that forest.
She heard what sounded like human whisperings, speaking an incomprehensible language. They were all around her. They were closer and closer by the second.
Quickly, she grabbed her phone and a lantern, got out of the tent, and ran away, yelling as loud as her lungs allowed her. It took her 12 hours of walking to arrive at the nearest town, where she told her story. An exploration patrol was sent to the area to rescue Hans and investigate the people Tracy had seen, but nothing was ever found.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.