9:30. Barnacle's paws were a bit sore in the morning, and so the decision was made to keep him off-leash for a bit to see if it would help him move better. It did.
10:00. Within a half-hour of us starting to hike in the morning, he was gone. At first we didn't panic, figuring he would come back like he usually does, but we did speed up the pace a bit. When we got to the next junction with no sign of him, a bit of panic set in. We split up, exploring the different trails, and eventually learned that he followed the way we had planned to go, as oncoming hikers had spotted him.
10:30. At this point Hannah, Alli, and I set off after him, while Kevin returned from exploring a different trail, and Martin waited for Chris (who got a later start) to catch up.
11:00. After passing several hikers who had seen a solo beagle, the trail went dry at a river crossing. We dropped our stuff here and searched all around the river and the nearby campsites. Alli and I were starting to get desperate. I ran into Chris walking up the trail, and we decided that he would head up a side trail that none of us had explored yet, and that Barney hadn't been spotted on.
11:30. I give up on searching around the river crossing and head up the side trail after Chris, especially after hearing conflicting reports from that direction.
12:00. I run up this trail, asking everyone I see if they had seen a beagle or Chris. The first reports are that Barney was spotted about an hour earlier, three miles away, and that Chris was about half an hour ahead of me. The next few reports give somewhat similar times and distances, and I keep running. One pair of hikers give very definitive information that Barney turned onto the trail we had hiked yesterday and was booking it. I try to do the same.
12:30. The reports are getting more encouraging. The dog is twenty minutes ahead, and Chris is five minutes ahead. Then, suddenly, one pair tells me that Chris is with the dog! Another report tells me he is chasing the dog at a full sprint. Yet another tells me that the dog is chasing Chris...
1:00. I am encouraged at this point, but also getting tired, as I am not fit and have no food or water with me. After a few more reports of dog and Chris together, the sightings suddenly cease, right around the spot where we had filled our water bottles for the last time the day before.
1:30. After the reports cease, I start searching around the area where they were last seen, running/walking back and forth and yelling for Chris and Barney, with no success.
2:00. I am crushed and exhausted. I am imagining all sorts of scenarios, but see no other option for myself than to keep following the trail we took yesterday, past the campsite, all the way up to where I had left the rest of the group.
2:30. This feels like some sort of death slog, as I am very weak and thirsty, but just keep moving for the remaining four miles or so. After a while, a group of hikers, whom I had passed earlier in my search, offer me some water and snacks, for which I am grateful. Still no signs of Barnacle.
3:00. I finally drag myself back to where I started, only to find that both Chris and Barney had been back for over an hour. Chris had saved the day.
I was very tired and angry at the dog, but eventually the feeling of relief at not having lost him won out. We managed to hike out of the woods (taking a shortcut to the road while the Culbergs and Martin went ahead to get the cars) without much more adventure, and with Barnacle attached firmly to his leash.
We got out: https://goo.gl/photos/1NphcrrKz7iTVvuW9