How My Husband and I Became Trailblazers. Sort Of.

Meditations in Motion

Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!– Ruby Bridges

My husband Bill and I went for a trail run this morning.

Just north of our house is a state game lands crisscrossed by some pretty remote trails (by Lancaster County standards) we thought to explore.

We started from a parking lot just off the Horseshoe Trail and set off down some sweet doubletrack.

We had mapped our potential run the night before and, looking at the elevation profile, saw that 85% of the run would be a gradual downhill. The final half-mile would be a steep climb up sketchy singletrack to get back to our car.

The total run was to be 4.5 miles. (Cue Gilligan’s Island theme here…”A three-hour tour. A three-hour tour)

When we got to the turnoff to return to the singletrack, Bill asked me if I wanted to take a longer loop. Turning right, rather than left would add a few miles onto our run.

Of course, I said “Yes.” We had been running downhill and I felt great.

Meditations in Motion
Rufous-sided towhee Photo credit: Wikipedia

The longer version of our run included lots of uphills, which I was not prepared for but the scenery was gorgeous. We found some vernal ponds filled with frog eggs and heard Rufous-sided towhees scratching in the leaves and calling from the underbrush. The trees and bushes were alive with pale green buds.

After running for a long time and not seeing any landmarks that looked familiar, we began to get worried. We had not eaten breakfast before our run, nor did we carry any water.

We finally saw a couple walking their dog on the trail, the first people we had encountered in over an hour.  By coincidence, I had their daughters in class when I taught in the local high school.

We asked them (socially distancing, of course) where the heck we were. As it turned out, we were just over the rise from the landmark we had been searching for.

Unfortunately, when we got to the landmark, a clear-cut under a power line, we could not find the singletrack that would take us back to our car.

We began climbing the mountain in the clearcut. Before we got very far, we realized “clearcut” was a very inappropriate name for the area under the power line.

The “cut” was anything but “clear” and our legs were scratched and bleeding from passing through thorn bushes.

We noticed the woods were relatively clear of underbrush this early in the spring, and ducked into the trees to climb the steep side of the mountain, pausing every few hundred yards to put our hands on our knees, puffing to catch our breath.

Finally, we saw the parking lot with our car and gratefully stumbled out of the woods and into the front seat.

Meditations in MotionI don’t know if that is what Ruby Bridges had in mind when she said, “Go where there is no path and begin the trail,” and I think we may have left our “courage, strength, and conviction” at home with our water but we did have quite an adventure!

And then we went home and had breakfast.

 

You can find the places I link up here.

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

Meditations in Motion

 

 

 

 

81 comments

    • Ha! Thank you, Mary. I don’t know how inspirational this run was but we did have fun. More fun after the run, looking back on it for sure! 🙂

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  1. Getting lost with no water is the worst! And miraculously, the brain starts to map out all sorts of worst-case scenarios… I bet that was one of the best breakfasts, LOL!

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    • Ha! We weren’t lost. We parked our car next to a huge cell tower that we could see, even from the bottom of the hill. It was getting to the tower that was the problem! 🙂 We wound up going about 7.5.

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  2. And that’s why I’m a little apprehensive about blazing my own trail LOL I have NO sense of direction, and if it’s a cloudy day (hence no sun to indicate which way is south), I’m screwed. Sounds like a fun adventure, though 😉

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    • One thing that helped me was that we parked next to a huge cell phone tower. I could see the tower from the bottom of the hill, so I knew where we had to get to. Getting there was a little bit trickier than I expected! 🙂

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  3. That sounds like one of my runs. Lost is my default. Once I had to walk several hundred yards in the middle of a stream because I couldn’t find a trail heading the right way and the brush was too dense to walk on the bank. Glad you got back without a search party.

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  4. Oh, this was what you were mentioning to me Laurie. Did you track your miles so you knew how many more miles you went? I want to know if you glared at Bill – your last post you mentioned “glaring at Bill” and it made me smile. All kidding aside, that would be scary and lucky it was not a day when it was very hot – no water. What are the chances of running into parents of former students? I’m guessing you won’t stray off the beaten path for a little while. 🙂

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    • Yes, we went about 3 more miles than we wanted to but Bill turned off his GPS watch when we were searching for the trail we wanted, so we actually went farther than that. Ha! No, I did not glare at Bill this time. I was the one who thought she could find the trail back up the mountain and couldn’t do it. Getting lost was a joint effort this time! 🙂

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  5. Oh my gosh, Laurie…this reminds me of so many of my decisions to ‘take the scenic route’–I’m just glad you had good company for it! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve kicked myself for not bringing water because ‘it’s not that long of a loop…’ 🙂 I’ll bet you enjoyed THAT breakfast!!

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  6. I’m glad there’s smiles on your faces… I think I would be in a big panic – especially with no food or water on me. I’d just shoot up the flare right then & there 🙂 LOL
    What are the odds of finding someone you knew – that’s funny!

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  7. I had a similar experience with my hubby on a short hike that turned out to be a long hike. He’s never gone again.

    I have a terrible sense of direction so I can only do alone on trails that are marked clearly.

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  8. Hello, I enjoy a new trail, but I do not like bushwhacking my way. Sounds like you had an adventure, nice view of the trail. I love hearing the Towhees. Take care, enjoy your day!

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  9. I’m glad everything came out okay! I’ve often marveled at pioneers and explorers, forging ahead with no knowledge of what they’re going to find or where they’ll get resources. One former pastor used to call steady, hearty, hard-working, dependable people “pioneer stock.”

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  10. You do realize this story does nothing to encourage me to try running off into the wilderness, don’t you? JK . . . I’ve gotten lost in the woods myself more than once, though not at a run, and it’s always an adventure that makes a good story. When it’s over 🙂

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  11. My husband and I have done the exact same thing…more than once! lol You think we would have learned the first time! Thank you for linking up and have a blessed Easter Sunday.

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  12. Ouch. You really got some battle scars from blazing your own trail. PC likes to do that when we go hiking in the mountains. Several times we have gotten so far off the beaten trail that we couldn’t get back to it if we tried. One time ended with him running into a hornet’s nest and we were fortunate neither of us were badly stung. A second time we got so far off the trail and then a terrific rain storm came up. We literally ran straight down the mountain, jumping over rocks and cactus trying to get back to the car. Scary when you don’t have water, phone, food. Glad you guys managed to get back to the car. Happy Easter!!

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    • I did get some battle scars! Oh, no! Hornets are one of my worst fears while hiking in the woods. A friend of ours got stung so badly during a trail race, he had to go to the hospital. We were lucky last week. We went back yesterday and found the trail we wanted to find. I think we will try the whole run again. Maybe tomorrow!

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