May 27th, 2002
I awake stiff and sore. I untie myself and let myself down. I spend the next 25 minutes stretching and loosing up. I eat a mushy sandwich as I ponder my course of action for today. I need to locate the position where the portal will appear and I need to hide from the elf, or elves assuming I'm just a bit paranoid.
I carefully make my way to the edge of the forest. The elf would virtually need magical abilities to follow my tracks this morning. What am I saying, this is Middle Earth! She just might have magical tracking abilities. Wonderful! At the edge of the forest I carefully scan with my binoculars the river opening and trees. I repeat the process three times before I shift my focus to where the portal should be.
The portal should be at the confluence of the Bruinen and the Merrill rivers. From this angle I don't recognize the spot. I patiently watch the sky looking for any hawks. No hawks but I do see a huge raven. I move to a position roughly opposite where the portal should appear, taking care once again to leave no tracks. Yes, from this angle it is clearly the portal location. I check my watch, still three hours before noon. I slowly scan the trees looking for elves. For the first time I can really empathize with Bilbo and the dwarves.
This is really annoying! What is their problem? Next trip I am going to fish up to Elrond's house and confront them. I will get his resolved one way or the other. This is my weekend. I am not going to hide like some common criminal. Hitching up my daypack I set out for the Bruinen. I will start about one mile below the portal and fish up to it. I will attempt to use the willows and other trees and brush to hide me from prying eyes. What about the hawk? Well, short of shooting it there is nothing I can do. What ever happens, happens.
As I walk to the river I unconsciously look at the sky. I still don't see the hawk, but I feel eyes all around. I wonder what the range is on a long bow? If I remember correctly the English used them effectively against the French at 400 yards. I quicken my pace, just a bit. When I get to the willows I drop prone and scan the forest edge as far as I can see, nothing. I continue walking to the River keeping willows between me and the forest. I change clothes and rig up.
The fishing is lively. I use a size 16 elk hair caddis on 6X tippet and about every third cast a rainbow hits it. Looking across a relatively wide calm section of the river I can see fish rising and occasionally jumping all around me. The sun marches across the heavens as I entertain myself. My revelry is disturbed by a glint off to my left. Trapping my rod under my arm I search the area with the binoculars. I easily spot an elf, with longbow and sword. I check my watch, still 20 minutes before the portal opens. I slowly walk up stream looking for others. I see another off my right flank, 250 yards away. He also has a longbow and sword. I continue walking upstream, the water splashing. After putting some willows between me and my shadows I break down my rod and stow it in its tube. I sweep the area. I spot two more elven archers in front of me and off to my left.
I make it to the portal location with five minutes to spare. The water is higher than my waist. The elves are closing in. Looking up I see a hawk, their "eye in the sky". There are a total of five, or at least five that I can see, three males and two females. I look at each through my binoculars. They don't look like happy campers. My visitor from the other night is with them, she obviously retrieved her bow. I smile and wave at her, "Hello doll. Friends of yours?" They all stop for a moment. At a word from my friend they close to about 50 yards or the edge of the river. They all have their bows out with arrows nocked.
My friend yells something at me. I shake my head, "I can't understand you. I am a friend. Mellon!" I glance at my watch 10 seconds. She repeats her order. Obviously they want me to come with them. I think I am under arrest. I see the air shimmer. I missed the spot by ten feet. The elves have their bows drawn. Taking a deep breath I drop into the river and let the current take me into the portal. Arrows penetrate the water around me but hit where I was not where I am.
The laboratory has water everywhere. I hit the cut-off switch to reduce the possibility of electrocution. Wonderful, this will take all afternoon to clean up. Hopefully I didn't ruin anything.