Story of the Lost Drone

Story of the Lost Drone

September 21, 2017
Sunset was upon us. I was anxious about not getting to shoot it so I figured, “hey what better time to try “Active Track” on the drone”, a setting I’ve never used before…
We tried the setting, designed to follow anything you can draw a box around, and it worked. I hopped out of the driver’s seat and gave Megan the reigns as I set the drone up to take off. Jumped into the passenger seat as Megan drove us down a gravel road for a while- all the way to the campsite, actually. I shot a few sunset videos.. I flew over the forest.. Then I lost the drone. I hadn’t figured out how to use the navigation system. I was flying so high! The forest all looked the same! I didn’t know which way was north! I don’t know, lay off!
The battery warning started beeping at me and yelled at me that the drone was about to die.

Not good. 

I said something like (but far less coherently) “Megan, we’ve got to go back to where we lifted off from.” (at least a mile away from where we currently were). Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that was her idea.

As the drone and I intermittently lost signal from each other, I frantically tried to coerce it into “returning to home” as we booked it back to the launch point in Vanna. Please note: this is Megan’s second time ever driving Vanna and she is finely riding the line between hauling ass and driving respectfully down washboarded gravel roads.

Drone time: "Toys" are not included in our vanlife budget but the money is spent all the same. Matt bought a dji mavic pro within our first 30 days of being on the road.
We drove down the nondescript, unmemorable gravel road until we recognized something/anything/a nonspecific patch of dirt and I said “we went too far.”
Like the Nascar driver Megan was born to be, she flipped our 22’ land-boat around in a U-ey and we headed back where we came from. 
She said “I see red lights. Is that it?” She pointed up.
“YEAS!!!! Oh shit. It’s at the top of the tree. I’ve got to climb it.” (I actually said more words, sweated more, and peed a bit more in my pants than advertised. I’m trying to keep it brief here. Also, I don’t remember what I actually said.)

I climbed that damned tree at least 15’ high and shook the tree until the drone *LUCKILY* fell down to a reasonable height.  I climbed that additional 3 to 4 to 6 feet (who knows, I black out when I’m stressed and I was definitely blacked out at this point) and grabbed the sucker! She (the drone, not Megan) landed upside down in a limb and the gimbal was going CRAAAAZY- making all sorts of weird, unnatural noises. I said something really clever like “oohph. The gimbal is not happy.”

We climbed down together. I handed the drone to Megan. We tested it. 
It worked. 
Let us rejoice. It worked. 
Matt climbing the tree to reach the drone (stuck in the tree)

Good thing we can still bring you some badass drone shots like these: 

Prairie Creek Campground (GPS: 43.816629,-114.593977)
A week spent in and around the Sawtooth National Forrest. Kirkham Hot Springs (Boise National Forrest) > Sawtooth National Forrest (Stanley, Red Fish Lake, Galena) > Ketchum
#wherewesleptlastnight Boondocking near Alpine, Wyoming on our way to Jackson
By | 2017-11-10T22:15:32+00:00 November 10th, 2017|All, Daily Journal|0 Comments

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