The Nevada Appeal adventurers fell behind schedule Monday -- but not as far behind as co-workers feared.
After not hearing from the athletes since embarking on the Ruby Crest Trail around 6 a.m. Sunday, Appeal staff members suspected the worst and contacted the U.S. Forest Service in Elko County.
Forest Service officials guaranteed the hike could not be made in less than two days and were ready to organize a search party for the men, who they thought had spent a cold night in the Ruby Mountains.
But before the rescue team sprang into action, the expedition reported in.
"All four of us have completed all seven challenges, and we're rolling again," proclaimed Appeal copy editor Karl Horeis. "Yesterday was a killer. It was touch and go for awhile there."
The adventurers -- photographers Rick Gunn and K.M. Cannon, sportswriter Jeremy Evans and Horeis -- indeed completed the Ruby Crest Trail around 9:30 Sunday, close to the schedule set.
They also hiked Wheeler Peak near Ely on Monday, but a flat tire stopped their progress toward the Red Rock Desert outside of Las Vegas.
The rented RV's jack was broken, delaying them about three hours, they reported. By Monday evening, the group was in Pioche looking to purchase another spare tire.
With seven challenges completed, the men have only three left before finishing Wednesday.
The four set out Aug. 5 on the self-imposed mission to complete in 10 days the 10 outdoor-adventure challenges outlined by the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
They plan to climb the Red Rock Desert and sand board down Amargosa Big Dune today -- the eighth and ninth challenges. The 10th challenge will be Wheeler Peak on Wednesday.