…and no one but me came along to claim it.
I got lost today. Physically lost, not spiritually lost.
That’s not to say that I’m NOT searching for myself in a spiritual realm, but that’s not what this day was all about.
Nature was calling as she often does; I could feel the strong pull to hike, to connect my hiking boots with sagebrush and trails and coyote scat dotted with small bones and fur.
I’ve never hiked alone but thought it’s about time, it’s time to stop waiting for my Prince Charming to tie my cute size 5 1/2 boot laces into little bunny bows.
Time to step out and face this day and the next day and the day after that…
On my solo journey.
At least for today.
So I did. I hiked Calavera: I’ve hiked it a zillion times over the years but never by myself.
(Check out a previous Calavera excursion with pics HERE)
How difficult could it be? It’s a five minute drive from the house and like I said, I’ve done it a ZILLION times.
I started at 4:00 p.m., thinking I’d walk for about two hours or so and be back at the car before sunset.
That was my plan.
I started up the trail, found another trail that looked SLIGHTLY familiar, and made it all the way to the top of the not-very-big-mountain, said hi to some other hikers, was asked to take a pic by a young couple who were celebrating their very first outing away from their newborn (grandma was babysitting), and breathed in the scent of dirt and native plants– HEAVENLY.
I decided to be a real adventurer by taking a different path to get down the hill.
This was where my decision making became just a bit faulty.
Nothing looked familiar. NOTHING. All I knew for sure is that I had climbed UP and now I needed to go DOWN.
How the hell could I have pretty much walked every inch of this land and not remembered the right way to go?
I saw another single female with a similar look on her face–one of slight anxiety, embarrassment, and uncertainty.
I asked her if she knew how to get down. She replied, “No, do you?” I responded, “Nope, but let’s walk together so that we can be lost together.”
I gave her one of my walking sticks because the first path we eventually agreed to traverse was steep and narrow. Prickly bushes slapped our faces as we hacked our way through to one dead end after another.
We FINALLY found the correct way and set our course around the lake.
We said goodbye as the sun started to dip and blaze on the horizon. I had parked at the far trailhead and had a fairly long but level walk to my car. I walked FAST because the sun was going down FAST.
I forgot there was a last minute fork in the road where I should have turned right which would have led me directly to the parking lot.
Instead, I ended up probably two or three miles away from my intended destination.
It was dark now. Completely dark.
I somehow found my way to the main road (I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I GOT THERE) with traffic whizzing by.
I felt like Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) on the Pacific Crest Trail.
I thought I was going to end up spending the night there, sleeping with a trio of coyotes wrapped around my body to keep me warm. As magical as that sounded, I was tired and dirty and wanted to go HOME.
It took about another hour to walk up a steep incline to where I THOUGHT my car was parked.
I knew I could have called my neighbors for help but I was determined to solve this problem on my own.
I am a strong and capable female. I CAN DO THIS.
Sweaty, dusty, stressed out but exuberant, I made it to my car at 7:30 p.m.
I had never been so grateful for civilization in my life.
I drove to the closest liquor store, bought a bottle of wine, got home, took a bath and toasted myself with a huge glass of merlot.
I was lost, got found, and feel like a natural woman.