Ep. 1276: Where we follow Justin into the darkness
-It's Tuesday, May 28th, 2013.
This is the 404 Show.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel NuÃ±ez.
-Welcome to the program everybody.
We are visited by an Australian friend today.
Raj Deut is in the studio.
What's up Raj?
What's going on with you?
-So Raj is--
Raj was here a while ago.
He did some interviewing for MacTalk Australia and he's back now.
And Raj is gonna have front row seats to a story that needs to be told-- I don't know how long it's gonna go.
I don't know--
-I think it might go the entire episode.
-This story-- and can I introduce it a little bit?
-It's a tale of survival.
It's a tale of tech and surviving.
It's a tale of the human spirit-- what it means to be a human
-Man-- you sounding good.
-And, you know--
-I think this happen a lot.
I'm not sure I'm gonna live up to the story.
-Yeah, I mean-- I probably am over-hyping it, but you know, Justin told me a story in the lab this morning and I was like, do you have to tell everyone this because this is bat-shit crazy.
-The story was so crazy that Jeff felt the need to give me a hug right after I told him.
-I've never had physical contact.
I've never even shaken Jeff's hand before.
-He is the--
-And he gave me a hug.
-You are so boney.
-It was weird.
You broke the rear of my ribs.
-I thought I was hugging a broom.
No-- but seriously, everyone listen very carefully.
We'll try and get to maybe some stuff after it.
Raj is here.
He's gonna hear about this too--
-I'm looking forward to it.
-And maybe like, you should write something about this.
-Yeah, like you have to show.
We'll take it to Time mag.
-It's definitely a good tech angle.
-This is the Time Magazine and there is a tech angle as well.
-Without further ado, tell us what happened to you last night dude.
So, I wanna hear about what happened with you guys in Memorial Day
But this is what happened to me.
So, my girlfriend and I decided to go for a short hike, all right?
And we went online and we found this hike that went through Reeves meadow, it's a loop in Sloatsburg in New York.
So we took the New Jersey transit to get there, right?
And according to this trail map, should have been about 4 mile or 4-hour hike, about 6 miles total.
And so we started the day off about like 2:00.
We get in at 2 off a New Jersey transit.
And this 4-hour
hike ended up being the most helpless I've ever been in my life and the closest I've ever come to death in my entire life.
-So, we're not joking like you almost died.
-I almost died, yeah.
-Legitimately, almost died last night.
-Yeah, uh-hmm-- by my own version.
-And, you know how hard that would been to fill in for you with that short of--
--- is what you're worry about?
I mean, like it's so--
-Not my cat.
-It's so disrespectful.
Anyway, I'm sorry.
Continue-- so tell us like about the trail like what
was the intention.
What was the plan?
-So the plan was to do this 6-mile hike in about 4 hours that was the average time.
It's an easy trail.
There are families there.
It's a loop as well.
So, here's a map of it right here.
This is the trail head, where we started and it kinda loops around and goes here.
-So, for people who don't know Jack about hiking, some hikes are not or, you know, you go and you come back.
Some of them work in a loop--
-Which by the time that you're not done with the hike, you're back where you started.
-Takes you back.
So we started at the-- there's a store
down there that sells maps and whatnot.
We did not buy a map because we head downloaded some maps to our phone, right?
And just a quick background on our hiking experience, we have none.
-We've gone on a few trail hikes.
We've walked around a lot.
We've done some camping but in general, we're city slickers who were definitely amateurs when it comes to this--
-Yeah, but you've also like-- you're no stranger to the great outdoors.
-Yeah, definitely I do.
I've done a lot of mountain biking.
I'm a big cyclist and, you know, we spent some time on the farm last week, so maybe
we're feeling a little bit overzealous-- I don't know.
We'll get into it after I tell this story.
-But, anyway, we took New Jersey transit to Sloatsburg and started the trip off about 2PM, right?
About an hour-and-a-half into the trip, we realized that my girlfriend lost her sunglasses somewhere along the trail.
And this is about like 5 or 6 o'clock, so there are plenty of people walking along the trail.
-Yeah, it wasn't empty.
-But we had to back track, right?
And, you know, when you're looking for something in the woods, you really have to spend a lot of
time kinda crawling and looking back where you're walking.
-So about 2 hours after looking for them, we finally find them, right?
-Oh, you did find them.
-'Cause they are expensive sunglasses who apparently they could not have been sacrificed on this trail.
-That's a good effort about us to find.
And she really wanted to find these sunglasses.
-That is the needle on the haystack and you were able to get it.
But, of course, that threw off our schedule.
-And as we were walking.
We started noticing that there were fewer and fewer people.
The crowds were thinning out coming the opposite direction and there were
no people coming in the same direction.
So there's no one come-- there's no one coming behind us and there was no one ahead of us that we saw, right?
So, at about 7 o'clock, there was about an hour-and-a-half left of daylight and we had been hiking for about 3 hours now.
And we had to make a decision, right?
We didn't know where we were on the trail loop because there was no service up there.
We did have the maps.
We weren't sure where we were on the trail.
There were markers though.
And so we are following along this path that was pretty easy.
But at this point we had to make
a decision and that decision was whether to go back, you know, and spend the 3 hours hiking down or take a risk and maybe we were passed the halfway mark and there was less space ahead of us than there was behind.
-So how-- so this was a hard decision because if we decided to back track, we definitely would have had to hike in the dark.
-At least for two hours because we had, you know, we've been hiking for 3 already.
And we only had an hour left in day light.
-So, how did you not-- so how did you not know that you were halfway through
like, don't the trail markers tell you how far you've gone?
-There's just marker trail--
-The trail markers are literally just-- it's a white square painted on the tree--
-With the red dot inside of it and that let you know you're on the right trail.
So there was no mile marker or anything like that.
There's nothing letting you know how much farther you have to go or how long you've traveled.
-Literally no way to tell how far you were on this trail.
So we had to hike a few hours or we had to figure out what we wanted to do.
At this point, we decided to do a gear check.
And I brought some of the things that we took with us.
-I ended being a really big help.
This is not PR for the companies.
This is just what we had on us.
So, I had a big backpack and we had-- I had a Marino Wool sweater, Cortex jacket and a regular sweater on top of that, right?
-In addition to whatever shirt I was wearing.
-And this is the tech that I had on me.
I had this, which I'm actually testing out right now for CNET.
This is for people that aren't watching the video.
-Oh, this is gonna be the greatest review ever for that, probably.
-Yeah, this really is-- I'm gonna have to send this to them afterward.
This is by a company called Snow Lizard.
And it's an iPhone case.
This is for the
4 but they make one for the 5 as well.
And it's-- this was actually started as a Kickstarter and what's fun and successful is now it's in production.
It's an iPhone case that's indestructible basically.
But it also has--
-Yeah, so it's weatherproof, it's rain proof, totally submersible--
-And it's lost-proof.
-And it has a battery inside of it-- and it's lost proof.
-It's lost on the [unk].
But this is the cool thing.
It also has a solar charger on the back of it.
-It holds the charge so I have to full charge on it.
-Which, you know, would basically recharge a phone
back to 100 percent.
-So you could plug that in obviously?
So I have my phone in here right now.
-I had this Phoenix flashlight.
I think I brought this for Show and Tell after Sandy.
So, this is my like LED flashlight.
I had this on me, but I used it through Sandy and then I used it on that farming trip that I described last week.
So I had no idea where the battery was, right?
I maybe have like about halfway light.
-So I had this and then we each had our own iPhones that were about at 40 percent with flashlights
and that digital compass that comes built-in.
-No separate compass.
-And we had our maps on the phones.
-So, right now, you guys have made the decision to trek forward.
-To close the loop if you will.
-So, we decided to press forward.
You know, we decided that we didn't wanna take the risk to go back 'cause we knew we do travel on the darkness.
Wasn't sure how much flashlight life I had left.
-So, we decided to go forward.
This is about at 8 o'clock.
We had about 20 minutes left until sun down so we hiked more.
It didn't look like it was clearing up.
It didn't look like it was looping around either.
You know, we kinda figure it.
Maybe it would turn right 'cause there was a loop and we are going east.
It didn't look like it.
-So, at about 8 o'clock with about 20 minutes left until sun down.
We looked down to our iPhones and we saw that we are about 2 miles away according to the GPS from the Eastern tip of the part.
This is a 200 miles square foot park.
-Oh, my God.
-But the trail is very deep embedded inside of
But according to this GPS on our phones-- on both of our phones as we both checked.
Look like we're about 2 miles away from the Eastern tip.
But we were still on the trail, so it's easy to follow.
The trail is leading us inside the perimeter so we decided to go off the trail very briefly and see if we could head East to see if maybe we could catch stabilization off that Eastern tip, right?
Because we don't-- it looked like we're only 2 miles away from it.
-So, you-- the decision to leave the trail was made based on the GPS location
that your iPhone was giving you.
-And we saw a giant hill and what looked to be lights passed the hill.
So two of those things combined, we decided, we have no idea how long this trail has left.
It's likely more than 2 miles.
Let's just go and check out this hill and we'll get better advantage points, see how long the trail is.
-And then, maybe we can-- well-- there'll actually be a city over the hill.
-So at this point--
-It was a risk.
-At this point you've already decided things have gone south.
-Things have gone south.
We already realized we're
somewhat in danger.
We had to get out of the park back on to the street.
-That 2 miles is kind of a gamble.
-So, the light was really--
-This was about 8 o'clock.
So it was definitely dusk at this point.
-And-- okay, so you're making your way up this hill now.
-And you're off the trail.
-So we decided to veer off the trail thinking that we could climb this hill and if it didn't work out, we were just go back, right?
We climb this hill East according to what the compass looked like, right?
We pointed-- we lined up the
arrows and went East to see if there was civilization close by.
After climbing this hill, our hearts dropped because there were just miles and miles of more forest.
-Oh, my God.
-It was a good advantage point but it was miles of more forest.
-This is why I don't go hiking ever.
-This is-- wait.
So, now paint this picture.
You think you're gonna hit, you think you're getting up to the top of the hill--
-And you're just gonna see like LA.
-You just see like lights and lights for miles, right?
-It was a mirage.
We did see lights.
I mentioned that we saw lights.
But they were actually lights on a
giant mountain that was miles and miles and miles away.
-'Cause your eyes play a little better trick-- I mean, you were in the search low light.
And we are much lower.
-So, we get to this hill.
We see this advantage point.
So miles for us-- decided to send immediately because the light was getting dark.
-And now it's dark.
-So at that point, it got pitch black.
-Like it's dark.
-It got pitch black and did-- it looked nothing like the way we came.
We thought we were turning back directly from the route that we got here from.
-And it wasn't.
It looked like someone had just completely turned us around.
We had to descend down this hill, there were branches and there were like a ton of bushes and things like that.
We kept checking or iPhone compasses and then we started noticing that the compasses were giving us 2 separate direction.
-Oh, my God.
-So what we thought was East wasn't East because I looked at my phone, it said Northwest and we're pointing them in the same direction.
-But, couldn't you tell where the sun was setting?
-The sun had already set.
-But you couldn't--
like-- and then once it's gone, you sort of look where it was--
-We just-- yeah, we just-- and then we were turned around.
-We had no idea where's north or south and, so at this point, our phones we're at about 30 percent.
We had turned off the Wi-Fi and no Bluetooth.
All the brightness setting was all the way down.
So we're scared but we're trying to conserve battery life.
-Now, did you have service?
-We did not have-- there's no service, zero service.
-That's-- so that's--
-Even on that hill.
-That's the scariest thing honestly so far.
-Like, just because you can't-- you're at the top of this hill,
there's miles of black forest ahead of you.
-Behind you, you're lost and disoriented and don't even know where that trails at anymore, right?
That was the scariest part-- is losing that trail because the markers have reflections on those.
So if you point it a flashlight at it, you could tell you were going the right way.
And there are markers-- maybe there were 5 of them every miles.
So it's pretty easy to see where you could go.
-But once we got off that trail, it was just branches-- it was maybe like bushes up 'til like your stomach.
-So now you're in a very
heavily-wooded forest, pitch black--
-Pitch black darkness.
-No cellphone service.
-No cellphone service.
I had a flashlight, but that was it in terms of a light source.
We didn't wanna use the flashlights on our phones because that would deplete them.
We need to make a phone call if we needed to like, maybe get GPS.
We wanna conserve it for that.
-We had one flashlight between the two of us.
This was at about 11:30.
-So it's 11:30 at night and no service.
This was after about 2 hours of hiking in that pitch black darkness.
We could hear things' rustling around in
the bushes, we could hear animals, crickets-- we could hear a stream too.
So we decided to follow that stream because I watch a lot of survivalist television shows like Survivor men, you know, Bare Girls.
They would say, you know, like just follow the stream that will likely lead you to civilization or a cliff, I don't-- right?
-Yeah, or like, you know, I don't know, really dangerous fish.
So question here for you.
When was the point where you
were like, okay-- we're in trouble?
-So this was now at about 11:30, after 2 hours of hiking in total darkness.
-And this was last night ladies and gentlemen.
This was last night.
And, you know, we were moving gradually, you know, because like, we're trying to make sure our footing is steady, there are loosed rocks on the grounds.
We didn't want to roll our ankles or break something-- fall.
We didn't know if there was a cliff--
-So we were moving really slowly.
At about 11:30, we had to stop, regroup ourselves and decide whether or not to sit still, right?
And waited out until daylight, which would have been about
8 hours, right?
-But like 6.
-Or like maybe 6 or 7 hours right into like 5 or 6 in the morning.
Wait there and sit still or keep walking and see if maybe we could hit either a trail or civilization, right?
It was a stretch but, you know, there is a lot of risk.
There was a cliff, there were animals.
We had read earlier on this trail guide that there were snakes and deer--
-Oh, my God.
I would have just-- I would have a heart attack and die.
-I just like can't even imagine.
-So we decided
to keep walking for a little longer.
We were like, okay, we're not ready to give up yet.
I wouldn't have been able to sleep and I would have had to stay awake for 5 to 6 hours.
We had no water on us anymore 'cause I had a clean canteen that was gone.
All right, we had drunk the water.
We're super hungry.
I wasn't sure if we could, you know, we would make it through the night but we'd probably so weak and tired by the morning.
I don't know how long we would have to hike to get back to someone.
-Like camp site or another hiker or whatever.
-That's true 'cause you don't even think about it.
-It's 200 miles of park.
And we had veered
off the trail.
-And right, so you don't know where the trail is.
Maybe in the morning you would have been able to find the trail again.
-Maybe-- but who hikes at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning?
-And if we would find someone.
-And the food thing is a good point too, like, you know, where do you, you know, at what point would you get to where it's like, oh my God, we can't go on any longer?
We're just so starved and, you know, malnourished.
-What's going through your mind at this point and time at 11:30 [unk]?
Decide to move on like, I'd be freaking out.
be totally honest.
What was going through your head man?
-We were freaking out but I think we're keeping it together for each other.
You know, it's just the two of us there, and so we had to sit down and regroup and talk to each other a lot like-- okay, what are we wanna do?
You know, these are decisions like starting with whether or not we wanted to back track, you know, as the sun was going down.
-Prepared you for marriage.
-Yeah, really like we're definitely a lot closer now.
You know, like we had to take those risks together.
So we had to be in total agreement and whatever that was 'cause I didn't wanna feel guilty if something went wrong and it was me that had to make the decision.
-So, we were scared.
At this point I wasn't scared for my life yet though.
You know, I figured, okay I could probably make it through the night.
The worst case scenario is that, you know, like maybe we'd encounter an animal.
Maybe like I would break my leg or we would fall down somewhere and the other person would have to take care of--
-Oh, my God.
-I ran like watching like The Walking Dead or other shows like that.
A ran scenarios about this through my head all the time 'cause I'm a type-1 diabetic.
-And my thought every time is I'm dead.
-And if this was happening to me, I would be
freaking out, like--
-There is no way I would be keeping it together at this point.
That's what-- you know, and the story is not even over but it's like the-- like your composure is--
-No, I mean, I'm in compose now because we came out of it and we were laughing afterwards 'cause we are so relieved.
But at the time, it was a lot of like, okay--
-Like this is crazy, like-- this was real at this point.
-Like we knew that this was real.
And here's a few pictures.
But I only took 2 'cause obviously we weren't in that much sort
of taking photos, but you know like, I also dropped the pin as well.
We had like zero service left but at one point I got one bar so the first thing I thought to do was I text message a friend to like let him know after dropping a pin.
And that was it.
You know, like-- then the service went out again.
I can text him what to do.
So here's my girlfriend walking to a total darkness.
This is the photo taken with the iPhone flash.
-You could barely see anything.
-Yeah, the flash-- you know, went maybe like 4 feet.
-I can tell you're
hiking because of the stick there, right?
-So that's the definitive hiking stick.
So we had two sticks--
-To hike with.
And we were using those as walking like, you know, like we were blind basically.
-We had to like move them in front of us to make sure there's no cliffs, look for any rocks, etc.
Here's another one.
This was-- with just my flashlight, no iPhone flash.
-That's something else.
-So it was a lot of, you know, like walking next each other holding hands.
-You know, to make sure that if one person stumbled we could grab each other,
you know, that sort of thing.
So this was definitely the scariest part.
This is--the last hurdle, right?
So after climbing down this hill, we realized that there was a light in the distance, right?
This is about midnight now.
-So you finally see a light.
-After about an hour more of walking--
-An hour more of just going in--
-In a direction like, don't forget--
-Like this direction--
-Just walking further into the--
-Could be walking-- there's a 200 square miles.
-Right, that's what it is?
-Two hundred squaremile park walking in just a direction.
What about the stars?
Could you see the stars?
There is no stars.
-And it was overcast-- there was also a lot of wetlands around like a-- you know, there's a stream but that also created marshes next to it because of the rain from last week.
So it's wet too.
Our feet were muddy.
Our feet were getting wet.
I had waterproof socks on me but, you know, between the two of us, I gave them to her.
-And so she was wearing these socks.
My feet were wet, we're both cold.
You know, what are you gonna do, right?
finally see a light at a distance at eye-level, a tiny little light.
No idea what that could have been.
Right, like maybe it was a construction worker that had left the light on the site.
Could have been a house or maybe a street lamp-- anything.
But it was a tiny little pin-hole light but that was the best hope that we had.
So we decided to walk toward that, right?
And it was a little bit of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation, so we had to take them.
We started to walk in towards it and when we start climbing down this hill, right?
Down, down, down, it was a
steep hill so we had to walk sideways, right, using these walking sticks to brace ourselves.
-So, like the light did it appear like it was at eye-level like or was it higher than you or lower than you?
-It was at eye-level but we didn't know how high that was.
You know, it could have been a house, which would have been great.
Or could have been a tall, tall light post maybe off in the distance 'cause we were tricked before, so we're hopeful but skeptical at the same time, right?
-And from the time you saw that-- okay, I'm sorry.
Well, how far did it appear if you are to guess?
-I have no idea-- miles.
-Yeah, it was not at close light, it was tiny.
-So after climbing down this hill, we get to wetlands, right?
-Wetlands, a marsh.
And this was the most dejecting, right?
Because in all directions, you know, it was wetlands.
It was this huge thing blocking our way, so we had then had to make another decision, right?
Like do we walk along the wetlands, hoping that it break somewhere.
Looking for some-- I don't know--
-Bridge or yeah-- or do we walk away from the light?
You know, that light was so far our best chance of-- our best hope of finding something.
So it didn't look deep.
It was about 1 1/2 foot, right?
And we walked along for a little while and we saw a long log.
We could see how long the log stretched for though into the marsh, right?
But we decided to-- we decided to just step onto the log to see like how stable it was and it was.
since we have those two long sticks there, maybe about like 5 feet long.
We had two sticks each.
Penny, my girlfriend decided to jump off onto the log and see how long it stretched for, right?
Maybe it went across.
So I was turning the flashlight on since I was the only one with the light source while she walked across.
And she called to me from across maybe about 100 feet away.
-I couldn't see her anymore.
-Oh, my God
-Because there was brush everywhere too, right?
Like it wasn't just
a marsh, it was like, you know, trees and things coming out of there.
-You couldn't see her.
I couldn't see her anymore.
She called out to me from across the log that it stopped and that there was no other place that she could continue walking on to.
There's no adjacent log, there's nothing.
It just stopped right in the middle of this marsh.
-And surrounded by water.
-And so-- we're surrounded by water, right.
And it was, maybe like 2 feet deep at that point.
But there was also mud underneath, so she could, you know, jam her stick further down.
I had no idea how deep it was.
She called me and this log had
stopped and that she was gonna turn around.
At this point, I heard a rustling in the bushes behind me.
I was by myself.
-I heard a rustling in the bushes behind me.
I didn't know what it was but this is what I heard.
I heard a rustling and I heard what sounded like a-- like something breathing like it was scuffing and--
-It was like grunting.
-I don't know what it was.
Like the sound of it like wheezing.
I didn't know if it was--
-There was an asthmatic wolf.
-Yeah, or an asthmatic murderer?
-I have no idea what it was.
I couldn't see anything.
I've shine the flashlight.
I started saying, "Hello?" I don't know.
Maybe that wasn't the right decision.
I started-- I wanted to whisper to her so I whispered to her that I could hear something.
But she could hear me so she-- I could hear her calling my name but I was trying to get her not to do that because it was exposing our position, right?
So I turned off my light 'cause I was afraid that whatever was in this dark was--
-Was attracted by the light, our talking-- all that stuff.
-Oh, my God.
-What was your heart--
-This was when I was very--
-This is the most scared I had been.
-So were you like sweating--- panicking.
-I was sweating, yeah.
It wasn't hot but I was sweating.
I was definitely shaking at this point.
-I'm like, I'm freaking out just-- and I know how this ends.
-I didn't know what it was.
-And I'm freaking out.
So, finally, I decided to turn the light on.
I guess, I wouldn't have been scared if it was like a deer, even if it was a wolf.
I was scared that it was a person.
-You know, I was--
-You're going like--
-Immediately I scene from the
Hills Have Eyes flashed into my mind and skull.
You know, that's what I was thinking like, oh, man, are these freaks?
Are they like crazy people that just hang out in the woods?
Is it like homeless guy that's like-- I don't know.
It could any-- so I shine a light behind me finally.
And I see a set of eyes, I see a set of yellow eyes.
-So it wasn't a person.
It was either a deer or a wolf.
But I decided not to take a risk and so I called out to Penny that I heard something.
I told her exactly what I just said that it's probably
an animal, right?
-It was close to me, it was maybe 300 feet away, but I could see its eyes.
You know, it's closer now so I could see its eyes.
-So I didn't-- okay.
So that's decently far.
-Three hundred feet is pretty far.
So this is the setup right now, is the woods were behind me, right?
-Where the-- whatever this animal was.
-I was like right up at the tip of the marsh shining a light on Penny, who was on the log.
-She's still in the middle of the marsh on the log?
-She's still on the log and I told her not to come back.
And I told her that, I don't wanna take a risk of
going back into the woods and facing whatever animals that is.
I'm gonna go out and join her on this log, right?
-So I stick my flashlight into my hat, right?
And I just start climbing up.
And this was another point we had to make a decision, right?
-So you catch up to her.
-And so I catch up to her.
I explained to her what's happening.
We're whispering to each other at this point, right?
The light is off so we're in pitch black darkness.
-On the log--
-On the log.
-In the marsh--
-In the marsh in the middle of the woods.
-No light or whatsoever.
We're whispering to each other.
What are we gonna do?
We decided that we have to get into the marsh because I didn't wanna go back, right?
I don't wanna face whatever animal this is.
It could have been more than one.
-The light is still ahead of us.
We could still see that tiny little light in a distance.
-See the light--
-And we could see the end of the marsh too using this flashlight.
So it was maybe like 100 feet.
But the marsh was deep.
So we just had to get into the marsh I put my phone into the Snow Lizard.
She puts her backpack into my backpack--
hers is smaller, mine is bigger and it's more waterproof so she puts hers into mine.
I took off my jacket, I took off my hat and my shirt put it into the-- put it into my backpack.
I couldn't take off my shoes 'cause I was worried what's underneath.
-I didn't take off my pants because I was on a log.
-You know what I mean, like what am I gonna--
-I think in retrospect now like-- probably should have taken off my pants because, you're gonna get away and I would have known.
But, I don't know like what's hanging out in this marsh.
-Dude, who know like we're at Survivor.
-Yeah, I mean, this was
like dead water so I wasn't worried about alligators or anything like that.
But, I don't know-- eels?
What do eel's hang out?
So I have no idea.
-This could not gonna be fun.
-Whatever it is, this is not gonna be fun.
-Oh, my gosh.
So we finally decided to get into the marsh and this was definitely the scariest part, right?
At this point, I was freaking for my life.
-'Cause I was afraid that this animal is gonna run out onto the log.
-And be like-- biggest prime for the picking.
-Was it a single log the whole way?
Yeah it was a single log with no branches.
-So like you could have sort of propel yourself off with the sticks or anything.
-Yeah, and it was about the width of a
But we had those two sticks that we're bracing ourselves on to.
But we could feel them sinking into the mud below, so it wasn't stable by any means.
So we were kinda balancing and had to, you know, take them out of the mud and put them into a different spot to keep them from sinking.
So, at this point we get into the marsh.
I go first 'cause I have the flashlight but we need a stick together because it's only the two of us and I still have this flashlight-- can't make this up.
At this point, the light starts flickering.
The flashlight starts flickering, which means the flashlight battery is dying.
And I have it on the lowest setting because it's a 5-setting flashlight, right?
Like it gets, you know, there's like 5 different dims.
-This just like-- what was like going through your head?
You were just like, oh, God.
Can anything else go wrong?
I think at this point like, I was like saying comforting things to Penny.
I was like, we can do this, like it's okay, like we're gonna make it, like, baby we're fine.
-Knowing yourself that you're just saying it.
And I'm basically just convincing myself.
Later on, Penny told me that when she heard me say, baby.
That was when she knew like she was like very scared at that point.
It actually made it worst for her.
-She could tell that I was trying to keep it together.
-You know what I mean, like I was-- I should probably to just been like, yeah, we're fine, you know.
-But, you know, there's no lying about it.
-Like we were in serious danger.
That was when she knew like she was like very scared at that point.
It actually made it worst for her.
-She could tell that I was trying to keep it together.
-You know what I mean, like I was-- I should probably to just been like, yeah, we're fine, you know.
-But, you know, there's no lying about it.
-Like we were in serious danger.
-And I think the helplessness of it was the scariest part.
No one knew where we were.
-There is no one else around like, I didn't scream or anything but I'm assuming no one is around.
-Do you know if the friend you text and you drop the pin, did they get that?
-I don't know.
get a reply but it sent.
-I didn't get a reply.
And it was just a pin too.
It wasn't a message.
-Right, I get it.
-So it's just a pin.
There's no message with it.
-Completely out of contact is so super [unk].
And this was at 1:00 in the morning.
-Oh, that would have-- that maybe-- yeah.
-So I get in to the marsh first and immediately I got my feet start sinking.
It's like quicksand.
-Oh, my God.
-Because it's mud underneath.
-And so we had to move fast, right?
-We have to move fast because, like the longer you stick your weight into this mud,
the deeper you're gonna get.
I had no idea how deep it was.
-Or where's the water up to.
-So we jumped in.
The water goes up to my chest.
I'm 6 foot 1, right?
And that's not sinking in.
So I can feel myself getting lower.
-So now, you're like, okay we might--
-I have-- yeah, so I'm like, we're in trouble.
-We're like to drown here.
-You know, like Penny's almost up to her neck.
-Oh, my God.
-And I have my backpack with her backpack in it.
I don't know, maybe 10 pounds.
-I have it above my head with the sticks horizontally like holding on to the backpack and the stick.
She has like the sticks in the marsh but she's using
kind of it's like ski poles--
-Through this marsh.
And it was muddy, so we got in, it was cold too, right?
This was out 1 in the morning, so it's cold.
The sand went up to our chest-- or the sand went up to our knees at this point.
-Oh, my God.
So you're walking through a knee-high sand?
-So the water is up to my chest, then the sand is up to my knees and getting deeper as we're walking.
-So you're like-- we're gonna drown.
-Freaking out at this point.
-You were like, we're gonna drown right here.
-Yeah, at this point like I-- this is the closest I've ever come to death.
You know, I didn't know if it's gonna get
-And the water getting into your mouth and stuff?
-No, the water wasn't getting in our mouth at this point 'cause it wasn't up to our chin yet.
-Penny was close though.
-She was close, yeah.
And I kept asking her like.
If you wanna turn around if it's too deep for you like, let me know.
We could turn around.
We could find something else.
-How was it like moving your legs in the sand or mud?
-It was like quicksand.
-Like we had to like--
-Like really struggled to pull our legs out of the sand.
-Was it ripping your shoes off like it's a mud that sort of [unk].
-Yes, because the water was in my shoes too.
-The water was in my shoes but before when we were
on that log deciding what to do before we got into the marsh, we had tightened our shoes knowing that this gonna happen but it's still pulling.
-Remember, I don't have a shirt on either.
-So it was freezing, right?
It's really cold and Penny had like, kinda tighter shirt into itself.
So we were really cold and, you know, so we finally get in and we keep waiting at about halfway through we hit like hardness on the bottom.
-And that was a huge relief.
-Kind of because we didn't know if it will get deep again, right?
That was just the--
-But was the
back of a dinosaur.
-But, so far up into this point we haven't felt anything in the water, right?
Like there were bushes around.
There were thorns and so, you know, like we were getting like a little bloody and like it was bad.
-So we keep walking, we keep walking.
We're trying to move as quickly as possible.
I'm like talking her through the whole time.
Whenever I get into a situation like this, I always talk a lot.
Like, I don't know.
That's like always my gut is.
-Whenever like-- I hike-- I don't know if you guys have ever
like [unk] like in California but it's like, you know, anytime I can feel like a dangerous situation where I'm worried.
-It's a nervous--
-It's a nervous--
-Totally, yes so I'm talking a lot.
-You know, I'm saying like, oh, this is fine like we're gonna do it like, oh I hit bottom like I'm narrating at this point, I'm telling her it's gonna be okay and she's like.
Okay, okay, okay and she's crying at this point.
I'm trying to keep it together for the both of us but, you know, it's hard.
So as we get to the other side, it gets thicker like there are bushes inside the water that get thicker, so
we have to step on to the bushes, which is harder because we're still pulling our legs out of the sand.
-No joke, I feel something brushing against my leg.
-I feel something brushing against my leg and I don't know if it was a fish--
-Maybe a snake.
There were snakes described in that trail map.
-They promised snakes?
-They said snakes.
Could've be snakes, I don't know.
I have no idea what it could have been.
Could have been a swimming guy--
-It could have been a guy.
-A swimming dude.
-So I tell her this and I was like, baby,
I don't wanna freak you out.
I just felt something brushing against my leg, we need to move quicker.
-And so she was like, okay.
And we like really got to move on at this point.
And we finally emerged from this marsh on the other side soaking wet.
-Right, like everything is wet at this point.
-Backpack's wet like I had to dump my backpack and turn it over to pour a little water out.
-Everything is soaked.
Her iPhone screwed.
Thank you Snow Lizard.
This is gonna be the most epic review by the way.
-I can't wait to read that review.
-Lots of odd.
-Yeah, so we hike a little more, right?
At this point-- like I'm shivering.
-Yeah, like I'm a skinny guy, I can't really like handle a lot of cold and it was maybe about 1:30 at this point.
So we keep walking a little further and we finally hit a road.
And this was like-- we like embraced, we kissed at this point.
-Oh, my God.
-You know, we were like, this is like amazing.
-No cars on the road, but it was something, right?
-And we finally walk along the road maybe a mile more so we're still soaking wet and we can point a house.
and this was actually the house that had light on top.
-And it was like a two-storey house and it had a light like, I don't know what--
-So this house is in the middle of freaking nowhere.
-And I have no idea what it was.
And like we're scared at this-- we're still very scared at this point because--
-Like, look at us.
You know, like we're soaking wet.
-Yeah, you crazy.
-And we look insane and it's 1:30-2:00 in the morning now.
-Oh, my God.
-So I've never had to do this before but we decided like we have no choice.
You know, like I was getting service but I don't-- like who you call?
I wasn't gonna call the
-Wait-- why wouldn't you call the cops?
-I don't know, like-- I felt like we needed to like just knock on this door first.
-So that's what we did.
-I'm just-- I didn't even mention this in before.
I'm like-- like we saw the cops that was not like 911, that wasn't like a thing--
-But we weren't getting service inside of the forest like, it was the only way to find--
-No, I know.
But then now that you were on the street with service.
-Yeah, I don't know.
-Like we hadn't-- I thought about it.
It definitely cross my mind, I was like, okay, we can call emergency services.
So you knew you're gonna be okay once you got there
Have you taken a paramedics before man?
-That's-- now that does it there.
-So we finally decided to knock on this door, right?
And all the lights were off, right?
They're sleeping or if there's anyone at home like-- it's dark.
So we knock on this door and it's-- we just hear like-- "Can I help you?" through the door, right?
The mini blinds are closed but it's a big glass window.
And we talked to this guy.
We explained to him our situation like, we're still in a state of
shock at this point so we're talking super fast and the guy is like, you need to slow down, like what's going on and what do you need from me?
SO we tell him like, I don't know.
I have no idea like what we're doing over here, like I don't know what I want from you, like whatever you can help us out with is what we'll take.
You know, like if you wanna let us in-- I don't know.
Like I didn't wanna like overstep our boundaries at this point 'cause--
-'Cause he'd be freaking out as well.
-He was freaking out, yeah.
Like 1:30 in the morning someone is knocking at my door in the middle of the night.
-Yeah, a little nowhere.
-Who is this?
-Who the hell is this?
Yeah, hundred percent.
-So we talked to him and he's like, "Okay,
I believe you, I'm not gonna open the mini blinds.
I'm not gonna open the door.
You're not coming into my house but here's what I'm gonna do.
I'm gonna call a taxi cab for you and I'm gonna send him to my address.
You're welcome to hang out in the driveway until those-- that taxi arrives.
I don't know how long it's gonna take but there's a bus stop about 5 miles away that I don't know what the bus schedule is like either if it's runs all night.
But you and the taxi guy can figure it out." And we're like, okay, that's we can do.
We're gonna thank this guy
Hang out in the driveway and I don't know if he can hear us talking afterward because at this point, we're celebrating.
-You know, me and Penny were so relieved.
We're not like laughing and celebrating--
-Right, but sure--
-But, you know, we were happy that we were out in the forest.
So I don't know if this guy could hear us or whatever but he ends up like, you know opening a window above the driveway and he's like, "Well, you guys don't look like murderers." And he was telling us, you know, believe it or not this has happened before.
-Oh, I didn't know that this has happened before.
And he's like, you know what, if this was the 90's, I would take you back to the city myself because you look like a couple of nice kids.
You know like we were soaked, so like-- and we were like desperately happy.
We were thanking him.
We look normal and it's me and Penny, you know, a young guy and a girl, so I don't know.
-We didn't look like murderers.
So this guy like, you know, if it was 90's I would have taken you back to the city myself but I can't, like, you know this is like-- this is-- everyone heard stories--
-I've heard-- I've seen too many movies man.
I've seen the Clockwork Orange.
This is what happens in the Clockwork Orange.
-You know what-- but like that is so crazy to me.
-You can't do it.
-I don't blame him either.
-I don't blame him a hundred percent either--
-I wouldn't have said it either.
-But it's still a very, I don't know.
Look, you gotta look after yourself, number one, right?
-And that's what this guy was doing.
-It's sad, yeah.
-That that's the world we live in, but it's also the reality.
-The reality of it all.
-Oh, and when we cross this road to get to the guy's house, we saw one car going by, we flagged it down desperately.
-I was doing like the SOS thing like 3 flashes of my flashlight.
I was doing that desperately.
We were both waving on, not even a--
-Didn't even-- yeah.
-Just right by us.
-Need for you.
-You know, I totally don't blame him either-- not a stuff.
-Of course, not-- oh, you kidding?
-I saw every single teen horror movies starts--
-You can guys probably look like Night of the Walking Dead-- not to mention two, which just came out of with this Martian craft.
-Very strange because we were on both sides of a horror story, right?
Like we could have been like the victims of it in the forest.
Now we look like the murderers, right?
-So this happened
to the guy before?
-So he said this happened to the guy before.
He's the same thing.
-When did this happen?
-I don't know.
We didn't ask the whole story.
-Yeah-- would you interview him at all--
-No, no time for that though.
So this guy was great.
You know, him and his wife-- they eventually like, you know, stuck their heads out the window when they heard us talking and we had our iPhones with us and we were like desperately looking for a hotel close by--
-We were looking for the bus schedule, which ended up not running.
-You know, the closest bus was at 5 in the morning.
This was maybe about 2:30 now, right?
And so this, he dropped his 2 blankets.
Thank God, right?
This guy dropped us and he's like, hey, you know, I can hear you.
Still not gonna open the door but, like I'm gonna drop 2 blankets, he dropped us bottles of water and a bag of almonds.
-And that was like, you know, at this point--
-The sweetest almonds you've ever had.
-Yeah, it's like.
This was incredible and we're just like-- thank you.
You know, I got this address, I'm gonna send him a thank you note.
-You gotta send him more than that.
Send him like something awesome.
-Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.
-Like a sticker.
-Yeah, send him-- thinking about sending him some almonds.
-And he like, dude I talked all about this on the show.
-So, yeah this guy was great like him and his wife.
They look like an older couple, but I totally understand, you know, like--
-Initially not showing their faces to us.
They were a little bit elderly, maybe like their 60's--
-I wouldn't have done it either.
-I totally don't blame him for that.
-So, you saw the light first at about 11-12 o'clock at night?
-What was an old couple doing up at 11 at night?
The thing is, it wasn't a house like.
It was a light on top of them.
-Yeah, but it's just like their house-- you know, like you just-- street light or something--
-I don't know like it was some--
-[unk] just have a good light on it especially in the woods, it's just so--
-Yeah, it was like on top of--
it's like-- it looked like a light on top of the roof.
I was like wondering about that myself 'cause it wasn't coming from inside the house.
-There's a light that was on top--
-But that's not unusual--
-For wooded house to have--
And it was the only one in the middle of nowhere, so I don't know.
Maybe, yeah, they're worried or something.
-Or about planes or something.
-Yeah-- very low flying plane.
So, yeah like this guy was great and the taxi eventually, you know, he picked us up.
-We get to the back seat of this guy's cab.
We explained to him the story too.
It's not the second time
we told the story so we're a little bit more composed.
-Did not tell him that our pants were soaking wet.
We left the marsh out because we were like soaked in the back of this guy's car and, you know, if he was like, screw this and that.
-We'd be screwed.
-So like this guy picks us up and like, at this point we're like breathing longer now.
-And the bus isn't running so we asked him like where the nearest Howard Johnson or whatever motels.
-Tell us that there's a Howard Johnson and we call it.
There's vacancies, it's $175 a night.
-You know, I'm thinking about work the next day.
I'm thinking about like, oh what time we're gonna
have to wake up to catch New Jersey transit back to the city?
We asked this guy how much is it gonna cost for us to get back to the city, right?
-I don't know where we are right now.
He says, we're about an hour-and-a-half away.
-And we started at Sloatsburg in New York, but--
-Who knows where you are now?
-Yeah, we could be anywhere.
-You're in Utah.
-I have no idea how long we-- if I have to guess, I would say about like 10 miles.
-We've like walked about 10 miles this morning.
And this guy's like an hour-and-a-half away from the city.
You know what?
This story is crazy.
I'm gonna take you back to the city
for 75 bucks.
-You should be like 150 'cause not only would he have to drive to the city.
There's tolls, holes--
-Back and forth--
-You know, yeah.
And there's George Washington Bridge, he's gonna have to cross that toll and then go back.
-'Cause he's not a New York cab.
He was like, I'm gonna like, you know, do you a favor here.
I'm gonna take you back for 75 bucks.
-So he takes us back home, we like-- you know, the taxi is right up to my doorstep.
-Wow, did you think like this is all gonna end with me getting a ride right to my doorstep?
-Like don't forget like we had
started this hike out at 4 in the afternoon and--
-This is now about 4 o'clock in the morning that we return.
Like a full 12 hours trip.
Well, I just wanna clap.
This is just like--
-And he comes to work.
-Yeah, and he comes to work.
-I'm just like, you know--
-But stupid though, like-- I don't know, like it--
-In a hind sight like these are the lessons that I learned, right?
Like, don't take nature for granted, right?
-Don't take the darkness for granted.
-Don't take darkness for granted.
Don't leave the trail if you get lost, right?
back track, like don't go somewhere where you don't know what lies ahead 'cause we didn't know how much further we had, right?
Which is-- in retrospect a stupid move, you know like, we knew exactly how long it was behind us.
Yeah, we would have to hike in darkness but it would have been dark either way so, would have been much safer to just go back to where we came at least we would recognize something and we had trail markers to go along with.
Don't rely on technology in nature.
Because there's interference, that compass had interference in the woods and that--
-iPhone map was completely inaccurate.
-iPhone is totally inaccurate.
I think like the fact that we were making that
initial decision, whether to press forward to go back.
-We looked out like my flashlight and we did a gear check.
I was like, you know what, we have our phones.
I have a full charge on this phone in addition to the 40 percent.
-That's the worst thing that happened?
-I mean, we're like-- yeah, we're fine.
We have like GPS.
-Total city slicker move, right?
-Don't do that.
-The battery went out on my flashlight.
The service went out on my phone and the compass doesn't work.
-You know like, I thought I would use the accelerometer and maybe magnets inside the phone to sort of gauge.
You would have to use like a cellular connection, which you don't, but there still interference
inside with the trees.
I didn't think about that.
-What about, can--
-I don't have like matches-- totally unprepared.
-Can you pull up the pin?
Like, can we see the pin on the map?
-I don't have-- I have it on my phone which is off right now.
-Maybe you take like a screenshot for the blog post.
-Yeah, I should do that for the blog post.
-Also, you learned a little something.
Start hiking early.
-Play it safe.
Start hiking earlier and, I don't know-- I mean, I think experienced hikers have no problem hiking where there are no-- there's no one else around, but we're not there yet.
-You know, I learned that the hard way like hike
where there are other people like either ask for directions from or get help from in case of a crazy situation.
That's-- I mean, how do you-- that's crazy.
-We're obviously very glad you made it out there okay.
-We can laugh about it now, but Jesus-- you'd be careful.
We were cracking up in the taxi like--
-Oh, I'm sure.
-Both were relieved--
-And that's a nervous laugh.
-Yeah, a nervous laugh.
I barely slept last night because that adrenalin was still going to my system at night, but now like we are hungry, we like--
oh, man, we ate like 3 slices of pizza each-- Domino's--
-When you start telling me the story in the lab a few hours ago.
I could see it in your face.
You were turning white.
-You were the first person that I told the story to.
-You were really-- and like after I heard, that's why I had to like hug him 'cause I just-- I was like, my God, dude.
This is crazy.
-I mean, have you ever heard anything like this in your entire life?
-Well, nothing about it.
I don't have many friends good at hiking.
-And can't even like-- and he said to me.
He's like, do you even
have a situation where you were like-- I was like, I can't even know.
I don't think so.
-The helplessness of it was crazy.
I remember during Sandy, I was really scared too.
-Like all the lights went out.
But, you know, you're surrounded by people.
-And that was like the most comforting part.
-This, we were along.
-And I don't know like relying on each other is a big deal.
-It's a big thing too.
Being alone is the worst, you know, like we're-- I was stranded for 4 1/2 days--
-You know, I couldn't get out.
But I was like-- I'm just fine, you know, the other day like you might-- and never once feared for my life.
Like people know where you are and like--
-Everyone knows where you are and there's
-Even make a phone call maybe.
This is fine.
-This is totally different.
-This is such a far end insane.
-Yeah, it was very, very scary.
-So going through that experience with Penny, I'm sure you guys are a lot closer because--
-The wedding's tomorrow.
-Yeah, I was gonna say, he's getting married man.
-I gotta give it out to Penny too man.
-Yeah, for sure.
-She-- I mean like, anyone like-- you know, not even just a girlfriend but anyone might could have panicked in that situation but she held it together, which helped me hold it together to, you know, like not seeing her freaked out.
-Panicking would have just made it worst.
-Oh in much, much way.
-It's a lot of strength on both of your parts for sure.
-Emotional strength-- everything.
It was bad.
So yeah, that's the lesson like.
-Definitely be prepared.
Get a map that isn't on your iPhone, right?
-And then she was like, I'm gonna get a waterproof case for my iPhone.
-Yeah, for sure.
-Like if you go any kind of wilderness stuff, it's definitely worth it to have that.
-So, you should call this trip something like-- it should be called something.
You know what I mean like this honeymoon?
-The honeymoon, you know.
-Like something, I don't know.
-That's all happen to you buddy.
If you guys wanna buy a Snow Lizard of your own, I'm actually selling them out of garage-- just Paypal to me that money and yeah, that's the reason--
-Your heavily invested.
-We're having that story.
-It's a great endorsement for them.
-Yeah, and have to sell them this.
-I mean, this is not something-- well I mean, this is just, you know, the best test case scenario possible.
You know, I think the biggest mistake was thinking that it wasn't gonna get pitch black in the woods.
Like we have done--
-Who'd you think this gonna happen?
-I don't know.
I thought like the
stars like, you know, like we had a decent view of the sky.
-I thought like, you know, something would have illuminated us, but it was like, there was nothing.
-You know, it was pitch black.
To me-- and to that-- that's probably my biggest fear ever, like just vast darkness.
-Like being on a cruise.
You've been on a cruise ship?
-I grew up in the country of Australia, so--
-Oh, there's a lot of darkness.
-We had a lot of camping as kids and I was just, you know, there's nothing.
-You can't see 5 feet in front of you.
-Like if your hand in front of your face.
-Well, I mean, you get used to it.
You have a fire and stuff when you're camping but, you know, if you wake up and need to go like take a midnight late bed.
-It's gonna be scary [unk]
-I just like remember being on a cruise ship at night going off to the deck and looking at the vast pitch black darkness that stretches in every direction and just being like, wow, this is terrifying.
-I also on a floating hotel.
-You're in the middle of god damn nowhere.
-Oh, my God.
It's unbelievable dude.
I'm so grateful that you made it out of there okay.
-You know what's funny?
I've watched a lot of those survivors on TV shows, and nothing stuck.
You know what I mean, you guys watched like those outdoor shows like, I watched like Survivor man, I watched dual Survivor.
I watched like Bare Girls-- all that stuff-- zero tips gleaned.
Nothing like, maybe the river thing but that didn't help us much at all because we feared off that.
-I'd love to be out and see exactly where you went.
-Like a bread crumb or
I wish I could have had that.
-Well, I think you can put together somewhat-- have you really looked at a map like closely?
-I think-- I haven't Google that guy's address yet.
-Because like, I have it in my phone.
And you do that privately.
-I'm not gonna give that guy's address out--
-Yeah, but even though he's in-- I don't know, freaking nowhere.
-I could probably back check it.
-But yeah, you definitely need to-- I would love for you to put together just like what you think is the right sort of trail, you know what I mean?
I walked for
like four-and-a-half hours and did about 13 miles around Manhattan and I thought that was scary enough.
But, that's incredible.
-Yeah, that's a different kind of jungle.
-Oh, here it is, you could see it.
So this is-- okay, wait-- well, yeah-- that's really is.
Let me see if I can lock this off and--
-Yeah, here we go.
-Okay, so can switch back here?
Let's now-- that's where you were.
It's really not much detail there.
-This is like the park.
This is we're
probably like around here 'cause I remember seeing this Lake Sebago and when we emerged, this is where like the guy's house is.
-So you really did-- you left the park-- essentially is what you did.
-You did leave the park.
-'Cause he doesn't live in the park.
-That's now how that works.
-Yeah, we're able to escape.
What do you think Raj?
You know-- but you didn't expect this coming in this morning.
-Did not expect this to come-- well, I'm just glad he's here.
-Yeah, me too, for sure.
Well, thanks for the story man.
-I'm glad I'm here to tell it.
-I am too.
I am too and
I'm sure everyone else is too.
Raj, this was fun having you here.
-Thanks for having me.
-We gotta have you back next time you're in the states.
-Next time in the states.
-What are you up to?
Where can people follow you on Twitter and whatnot?
-You can follow me at @rajdeut.
I'll be at [unk] coming up in June.
We had a panel down there about all that Mac gaming and where that's headed.
-Okay, right on.
-So that-- that any further.
-All right, rock 'n roll.
Thanks for being here man.
Have a great trip back.
-Thanks very much.
-I know it's a devastating flight you've got--
-It's terrible to fly home but, yeah, off to London tonight and then head back to London to Australia.
-He's going the wrong way.
-It's the West, West.
-All right, well best of luck to you buddy.
We'll see you very soon and you could-- you're also on TNT every now also as well.
-Yeah, you can catch me on TNT every now and then with Tom Merritt and those guys.
We know those, dude.
-That's gonna do it for us.
Justin, great story man.
-Let us know what you guys think,
You can e-mail us to email@example.com.
We're back here tomorrow.
Have a great Tuesday guys, and just be grateful that you're not lost.
-We'll see you tomorrow.
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