DUG, I like your "Running Late" message as the optional message. Before I paid for the Tracking feature, I used it as a tracking feature, since it sends its message repeatedly for an hour, similarly to Tracking (for 24 hours). I may go back to that mode, since I see they have raised the Tracking price to $50.
And your criteria for deciding when to press the 911 button is good: "Can I possibly get myself out? Will I die out here or be disabled if I don't get some attention quick?"
I have a question about your hike when you got sick: Did your brother have his own transportation out of Roads End? And your wife was already planning on picking you up? Or did your getting sick cause a scramble for alternate transportation?
And here's an important note about using the 911 button: Along with authorities being notified, it will send email to those on your alternate (help) message email list. But it will NOT show your location on the Google map where it shows your Tracking and Help locations. I emailed the Spot people about that, and they cited privacy issues. I know for myself, if I pressed 911, I'd want as many people as possible to know I was in trouble.
Steve - We each drove to the park. I came up from down south and the guy I hiked with is out of the Bay area. Usually my wife drops us off and picks us up, but usually we start on the west side and come out at the portal. This time we did a loop and ended up back where we started. My plan was to get out and sleep for as long as it took to be safe to drive myself home. Since I got an extra bivey night below Granite I was rested enough to drive out when I got done hiking. Besides, I was so pissed when I hit Fresno and found out what happened I didn't need anything to keep me awake.
I set my HELP message to say different things depending on the hike. For my aboarted Gambler's hike it said - "Aborting Hike". We used that message. Once we got to the visitor center I called my wife who changed it to say RUNNING BEHIND for our Whitney hike.
Raised the tracking price? I thought it was always 50?.................................DUG