The journey from one end of the island to the other, a total of 500 kilometres and a six-hour drive, wasn’t particularly daunting to Estelle. Like her dad had done before her, she’d taken time to map out the entirety of the trip with several possible stops of interest that although required detours of several hours and miles, were areas she was looking forward to exploring.
Originally, Annabelle was to have accompanied her, but she’d cancelled at the last-minute suggesting Estelle carry on without her with one proviso – that Estelle provide her with plenty of pictures so she could at least live vicariously (a standing joke between them) and one that always amused Estelle.
Estelle was used to traversing rugged terrain and off-roading in her jeep wrangler (which had never failed her) and as she set out along the first of many detours to come, she took plenty of photos to whet Annabelle’s appetite and entice her into exploring this beautiful place together at a later date.
It was becoming too dark to enjoy the scenery much longer, so Estelle found a campsite pulled in turned off the engine and hopped out of the vehicle to stare at the surrounding scenery. There wasn’t another person in sight and Estelle was nonplussed since it was still early in the season although warm enough to camp if prepared, many might not be as eager to weather the elements.
Breathing in deeply, fresh salty sea air filled her lungs and added another level to her enjoyment. She unpacked her one-man tent, LED camp light, the one element camp stove for coffee and some food. She started the campfire, prepped the coffee pot, prepared to enjoy the evening.
While the water heated, she took the opportunity to pop some trail mix in a pocket and wander the area to take a couple of photos for Annabelle while it was still light enough to do so.
When Graham and Steve drove slowly by looking for a campsite for the night, they noticed the tailgate open on the jeep, a campfire that had burned down and only a few glowing embers remained. Graham wouldn’t have given it another thought if he’d seen anyone moving about. Some sixth sense warned him there might be a problem so he told Steve to sit tight while he investigated in order to make sure that whoever was there was alright and after putting the truck in park, got out, calling “Hey, anybody here?” He didn’t get an answer.
What he found chilled him. Alongside the jeep lay a single hiking boot, an LED light tipped onto its side and a hunting knife stabbed into one of the tires on the jeep. What the hell was going on, he wondered before hustling back to his truck. “Your phone working, Steve?”
“Yeah, sure, why?”
“Call the cops. Something’s definitely wrong here!”
“Why, what do you mean?”
“Just call, will you!” he drove the truck out of the way and parked it, listening intently as Steve gave them directions and they waited impatiently.
“Damn! This is not good!”