You had to laugh. What else was there to do? Edgar had convinced me it was a short cut that would save us time. Edgar had said, with authority, that he knew those roads like the back of his hand. Edgar looked me right square in the eye and asked, “Don’t you trust me? Have I ever got you lost before?”
As a matter of fact he had gotten us lost before, on several occasions. So, I did trust him, I trusted him to get us lost but I also trusted him to find his way out. And, yes, I did believe the short cut would save time, if he didn’t get lost, and, yes, I did believe he knew that country quite well.
This was where he grew up. This is where his grandpa taught him to hunt. But Edgar had no sense of direction. If he were a weatherman he would get yesterday’s weather wrong.
Still, there really wasn’t any other option at this point. After all, we were running late because we had gotten lost.
It really did seem like a good idea at the time as this was before the completion of I-40. Rather than drive into Kingman from the Big Sandy and then east on Route 66 to Ashfork, before turning south toward Prescott, we could simply follow Trout Creek into the area of Fort Rock and that would get us directly to Seligman.
The going would be slower as the roads were fairly rough but it could save us close to seventy five miles and jobs like this were going to fill fast, time was of the essence. So we tossed our gear into the back of Edgar’s old GMC and away we went just as the sun was cresting the ridge line.
That was on Sunday morning. The interviews kicked off at 7:00 AM Monday morning but registration for these would start at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon.
My first inclination that this was going to be another Edgar adventure came around 10:00, that was when we rounded a bend and were awarded a spectacular view of the road we were on dropping into a sand wash. I do mean dropping, as in a ten foot drop.
So we back tracked about 15 miles and picked up another road that headed in a general northeast direction. At 11:00 we had our first flat tire. That was when Edgar remembered he not had the last flat fixed and that meant the flat tire was actually the spare.
So, we dug out the tube repair kit and the little compressor that plugged into the cigarette lighter, and got to work. By, around 1:00 we had fixed the flat, and ate a pretty fair chunk of our supplies.
I am not sure if more speed would have helped us clear the stream or if we should have found another way around. In any case we made it about half way across before the distributor got wet and the truck quit. And that was just minutes before Edgar had asked if I trusted him.
So, there I was, up to my knees in water, wading back and forth between the tools in the back and the engine. Did I mention it was late March and the stream was running high from snow melt?
Well, in short order we had the GMC running but not going. The rear end had settled into the sand of the creek bed.
By the time we got the truck extricated from the stream, and changed into dry clothes, our best Sunday go to meeting, job interview clothes, the sun was about to sink below the western ridge line. This wasn’t going as I had hoped but if I were to take the time for honest reflection, what else could I have expected.
We had our bed rolls and plenty of water but the hearty lunch had left us thin on things to eat. So, about four in the morning, with stomachs growling we continued our adventure in the dark.
I still blame the dark for the total loss in direction but long story short, we crested a hill and saw headlights on the highway far below. If I try real hard, Edgar’s broad grin in that deeply tanned face accented by the glow of dash board lights still is a vivid picture.
Well, the joy of triumph was short lived. We hit the pavement of US 93 about half way between Wikieup on the Big Sandy and Kingman, this was thirty miles from where we started our nearly 200 mile drive.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is that without a word we rolled into our former job site, about five miles from where we hit the highway, where the foreman was waiting for us. We had quit on Friday afternoon but he had heard a rumor at the Double Diamond Bar that we were headed for Prescott and that Edgar was driving. He just figured we would be back. 
He met us that morning with barely suppressed laughter and told us to report for work on Tuesday morning. Nothing gained, nothing lost.
It has been many years since my thoughts turned to Edgar and our many adventures and I puzzled over why they returned with such power at this time. Then it dawned on me, the rhetoric for the next presidential election is already beginning.
Elections always remind me of Edgar and his almost uncanny ability to get lost, especially for the past dozen years or so. Promises are made, we sell our vote to the one who pledges to meet our needs from public funds, or we deceive ourselves into believing there is a difference between candidate “D” or candidate “R” because they promise a short cut in fixing problems that took decades to create, then they lead us around in the wilderness for awhile, and if we are lucky we end up at the same place.
Of course by that time the pockets are a bit more empty, the truck has suffered just enough abuse to be in need of serious repair, and we are perceived the fool. Unfortunately, in recent years we don’t seem to be able to find our way back and instead are left wandering in the wilderness facing a future of grave uncertainty.
I suppose Edgar might have missed his calling. He would have been a damned fine politician.

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