So the idea is that there's a guide in the front, a guide in the middle, and a guide in the back. That way, no one is last, and if you find yourself out of sight of a guide you're supposed to stop and wait and then the guide who's in the rear will catch up to you. That's the idea.
The hike today was long. Like, 6 miles long round trip. Final destination was the site where the TV show M*A*S*H was filmed. I was looking forward to that since I remember watching it with my Dad.
|Starting out - flat...for now.|
I m drinking my water like I'm supposed to, so I did indeed stop at the porta-potties on the way. This put me slightly behind the middle guide. I was still able to catch up with some buddies and we hiked on. Came to a fork in the trail and decided to go right (turns out, we shoulda gone left). The views could best be described as majestic. Really felt serene looking at God's country.
So now there's no one ahead of us and no one behind us as far as we can tell. A guy on a bike rolls by and he says we are going the right way and the M*A*S*H site is only a quarter mile away. We figure we're still ok on time since the group ahead of us hasn't doubled back and caught up with us yet (remember that fork in the road? that's why.)
Anyway, we made it and were so excited. It was neat!
What greeted us on the trail back:
The middle guide came back and found us and I walked along with him for awhile (and got lessons on black & purple sage, lemonade berries and poison oak). He also showed me where Planet of The Apes was filmed. I'm sooo renting that when I get back to see it again.
He then tells me to take the left fork in the road and that will lead me back to the van. I am now a New York girl alone in the wilderness (we NY girls believe in safety in numbers, no matter the setting!) and can hear the cry of a bird that sounded like the bird in the movies when someone is alone in the desert...you know the sound, it's hard to describe. Anyway I discovered my iPhone had a signal so I kept that out and laughed at myself when I wondered who I would call and where the heck I would tell them I was if something happened? A bit dramatic, perhaps. These were just flash-by thoughts until I started concentrating again on the nature around me and how lucky I was to be here.
One of the front guides comes jogging up the trail (yay!) and asks "Sweetie what happened?" and I didn't think anything had happened (I'm new here) but apparently something went awry and there were people freaking out about how long it was taking us to get back. But you know what? We all got to see the final destination and it was awesome and that's that. No one was left behind (for too long). The girl who was last finished the hike for the 1st time so that was pretty cool.
In the end, we all had a good workout - first or last to finish! - and despite the snafus, it was a very nice hike and made me say "wow" out loud more than once.
Blessed to be here and looking forward to more Happy Trails in the morning.
|That's the way to travel the park!|