Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Well, fellow travelers, I have come to tell of a journey. I lived to tell the
tale and so I shall.

I set out this morning to go on a hike I had not taken before. I was
prepared: I copied the hike directions on my scanner. I had a camera,
lots of water, a backpack. I wore my hiking boots.

Last night I pored over the hiking book Mary gave me for Mother's Day
and picked out this hike. I read hiking books like I read cookbooks.
When I read a recipe I visualize the ingredients, the processes. I
imagine the difficulty, the ultimate appearance of the dish, and the
taste. When I read hiking books I visualize the terrain, the distance,
the trip in the car to the trailhead. If it is a relatively flat hike I figure it
can be longer. This one goes along a creek, so I figure it will be pretty
flat and I won't get lost that easily.

In this case, the trip to the trailhead is on one of the back roads, one I
had not taken before. The instructions say to take the paved road for
about 7 miles, then turn onto the dirt road for another 3.7 miles,
crossing the creek 13 times.

Well, in one of my other hiking books there are warnings about getting
to this trailhead because of these creeks. They say take a four-wheel
drive vehicle because you'll be getting wet. I figured it's May, it's dry,
it's been dry, maybe I don't need to worry.

On the paved road there are many dips where the creeks cross. All of
them were, in fact, dry. So I figured good, we're fine. I wound around
on this narrow mountainy road to the end, where I came to the dirt
road. Just ahead of this road is a "conference center", the Lopez
Canyon Conference Center. There are large buildings, a large
swimming pool, and a parking area. It appeared that some kind of
retreat was going on today, by the sound of music and the sight of
vehicles there.

I headed down the dirt road and it wasn't long before i hit water. Water
crossing the road. I could see the pebbles and rocks on the bottom
and it didn't look terribly deep, yet it did give me pause. Finally I
thought, well, let's see how deep it is.

It was pretty deep. My car has signs on it up maybe 18". There is dirt
that got under the door. It was scary driving across that creek,
because I wasn't at all sure Hildy would make it. She did, but I wasn't
sure what I'd done to her. I decided to go on. I came to the second
creek crossing. I looked at it. It looked about like the last. I looked at
the hike description: 13 creek crossings. That was it. I turned around,
crossed the creek again, and got the hell out.

But it doesn't end there.

Stay tuned for part II.

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