Road Crew

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Getting lost

There is something about being lost that makes breakfast taste so good. Maybe it’s just that I am well beyond breakfast by the time that I return so that I have had a good long time to dwell on the idea. My fantasy usually starts with just some nice hot pancakes but depending on just how lost I am, the sides have expanded to eggs, sausage, toast, donut, turkey sandwich, yesterday’s lasagna and a slice of pie.
I do have an unfortunate history of getting lost on a regular basis but I protest that it is all my fault.  It is not because I am always alone or ignored directions.  Quite the contrary.  There is a reason I cringe at group projects.  The gift of persuasion and the gift of insight are rarely packaged together.
I headed out to the trails this morning feeling optimistic.  I was in Deception Pass State Park, which is on Whidbey Island.  How lost could I get? Eventually I would hit the water and know it was time to turn around.  Plus, there was a lovely set of well-marked trails and there would be no bears.  Based on this, I saved myself $2 and didn’t get the map.
I ran to shake out my frustration with North Cascades National Park.  It had the unfortunate position of falling after the endless spectacle of the Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier.  Feeling shy the Cascades hid behind clouds and spit on me endlessly.  On top of this, based on some misinformation, I ended up in an isolated campground all alone.  This is one of those things that you don’t mention on your phone calls home to mom. Let’s just say I was grateful to be in a camper with a lock and I slept with my newly purchased bear spray.  But the state park would be nothing like this.  Not only was I near civilization, but I had long time friend Cressey Rice coming to camp with me.
Considering this was supposed to be a quick run and I assumed I could not possibly get lost, I didn’t think of sending out my GPS signal.  I ran into the dense forest following a soft, dirt path.  There were a lot more branch points than I expected and the trail kept getting more and more overgrown.  I finally found myself completely disoriented in the middle of a dense cedar forest with no end in sight and only the sound of rain.  I’m on an island, I reassured myself, I can’t possibly be that lost. 
The disturbing part was the scat.  I told myself that there could not possibly be bears because there were no signs everywhere telling me that I was about to be eaten by one.  Well, that and every garbage can wasn’t on lock down.  But I kept finding giant piles of poo on the trail.  It didn’t look like the pellets of deer or elk.  It was much too large for dogs or even a cougar. Horses were not allowed on the trail.  This was compounded by giant hoof prints I found in the mud.  What animal living in Coastal Washington was that big? I considered a dragon but the climate seemed all wrong.  That pretty much left me with Sasquatch or a unicorn.  I can’t believe I left them off Bingo!

After spending a good long while bushwhacking through dense, wet ferns, I eventually found a familiar looking trail, thinking that maybe I would go find that map after all.  Well, maybe after breakfast.    

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