Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Adventure Gone Amuck

This is officially my 100th post and in honor of the glorious occasion...oh do I have a story for you.

Once upon a time a father had a birthday for which he received a fly fishing rod about which he was most excited. So this said father asked his eldest daughter if she wanted to drive for oh say two hours up to the Pecos Wilderness and then hike a short way up to Stewart Lake where he would catch loads of fish and she could make photographs. Like a champ she agreed.

Oh and it might rain he mentioned as an afterthought. No problem she thought. Overcast weather makes excellent photographing conditions.

And it was with this optimistic and adventurous spirit that the pair set off for a grand father-daughter bonding time.

(cue foreboding music here.)

The drive was uneventful and upon reaching the parking lot the two were laughing about the last time they went hiking in this same spot a year ago and how inexperienced they were with their DI backpacks loaded with enough supplies and clothing for their overnight stay. How young and foolish they were a whole year ago. But not this time. This time they knew what they were doing and ha! They weren't even going eight miles to Lake Katherine. Just a simple hike to Stewart Lake. Right? Right. And off they set.

Not but ten minutes into the hike they reached a fork in the trail. To the left was a flat well traveled looking trail and to the right was a narrow dirt trail that shot straight up a hill. Naturally the father shot up that path (it wasn't even worthy to be called a trail). He didn't even blink an eye! No hesitation. No nothing! The daughter hesitated. A little thought in the back of her head was saying didn't they go left last time they were here? But he seemed so sure so with a shrug she charged up the hill after him.

Within 100 yards they were soaked because the narrow trail had them crashing through wet foliage, batting away spiders and slipping on tree roots. The father stopped and commented that this probably wasn't the trail they took last time (oh really?) but pointing to the map he showed her a dotted line and said we can just follow this. it will take us there or we could double back. what do you want to do? like an idiot she shrugged and said if they go back they'll just get more wet. okay he said i just wanted you to feel the burden of leadership.

Oh how those words would haunt her.

About an hour and a half later the pathetic little dinky path probably made by ELK completely disappeared. It just ended. Poof. Gone. Nothing.

But undaunted their adventurous spirt still strong the two thought they'd just make their own path. How hard could it really be? Plus the father had a GPS, a map and a compass. How could they go wrong?

Thirty minutes of beating back brush, climbing over fallen wet slimy trees every other step and fighting for every square inch... they were now completely soaked, hungry and still there was no remote sign of a trail or anything remotely resembling a lake.

But she didn't lose it...yet. The breaking point came when she finally asked to see the map and where they supposedly were and he had the nerve to tell her it was only about 500 more feet...15 minutes maybe before they reached the lake.

Well an HOUR later after hiking up the mountain only to hike back down in search of a trail he insisted would be by the creek...only to discover no trail and hike back up...well you dear reader can imagine the thoughts that were coursing through her head.

But she kept her mouth shut and just kept trudging along after him wondering if this was how Sariah felt. Did Lehi or Nephi ever say in that false confident tone: Oh don't worry we'll be to the promised land in a year or two? Yeah try seven years later!

Just when she really thought she was going to lose her mind the father was able to find The Real Trail and upon stumbling across it he became almost giddy with joy. However, it took the daughter a several minutes of striding off on The Trail, discovering a trail marker which proved the fact that they had reached a civilized walking path before she could return his high-five and thank him for getting them back to the trail unmaimed by bears and in one piece.

So if you managed to read this enormous post -- Congratulations! You deserve an award.

My advice is please stay on the trail, never say no to doubling back in order to get on the right trail, and pb&j sandwiches are life saving.

Trust me.

The now infamous lake.
We took the trail to the right. Yeah, the one with no arrows pointing towards it. Haha.

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