An adventure in the woods…

This would have been a viable idea, if we’d had a loaf of bread…

Today I did something I didn’t think I  could accomplish — a 4.5 hour, 7ish mile hike in rough terrain.  For those of you who know me (most of you!!), you know I’m overweight and not athletic. The terrain was around a lake in the Superior National Forest outside of Ely.

The thing is, we didn’t intend for the hike to be that long… it just ended up that way.  The intention was a 2ish hour jaunt around a pretty lake.  We knew it would be kinda challenging for me…We didn’t realize it would be such a big challenge.

About hour 3 into our hike we realized we were lost, in the woods — the BIG, HUGE woods… that wasn’t all that comforting.  We made some errors in planning, like not bringing any water, snacks or toilet paper…. say nothing of a map or a compass.  We were dressed for 70 degrees. not the 34 degrees that comes just after sundown.  We also didn’t read the sign at the trail head.

Eventually, Andy spotted some dudes camping across a lake — and yelled to them for some general directions — they told us to go west — into the setting sun… which was good advice.

The trail was a huge challenge for me.  It was rocky, often steep and long… very long.  I was following Andy — whom I’d follow anyplace… and for most of the way I was certain we’d eventually find something like civilization.

About hour 4 I was getting seriously tired…. and the trail kept going up — and up — and up.  I eventually expressed my worry that I couldn’t walk out to Andy  — who told me in his own direct but nice way not to panic… and to try not to think that way.

I wasn’t worried that we’d die in the woods, but I was becoming pretty sure that we’d spend an uncomfortable night out there before I could walk out.  My legs were shaky, I was out of energy and feeling a bit light headed.  Not good conditions for negotiating “challenging” terrain.

At one point, Andy said he’d like to see someone on the trail — or a sign — that would let us know that we were headed in the right direction….Soon after that  we saw a dude jogging UP the trail toward us.  He stopped and reassured us that we were on the way to the car — and told us it was only about another mile.  Those were the sweetest words we could have heard at that point…although, I did have to ask Andy if he’d really seen the jogger (a hallucination wasn’t beyond the question for me..).

So, we continued on the trail — with a much improved attitude and sense of humor.  I have to say, seeing my sweet little car has rarely been so wonderful.

Lessons learned — don’t go off into the woods unprepared… and always keep your sense of humor —

In the end, all’s well that ends well…. and a challenge is rarely without it’s unique scary and stressful times — and this is no exception.

Quite a way to spend the 3rd anniversary of hubby finding The Lump, eh?


One Response

  1. Do I need to send you two a survival kit like the ones we use in the mountains? 🙂 Something that I”ve learned while living here…. when you go out for a hike, always over prepare. Energy bars are often on sale at the store and take up hardly any room in your pack, a flashlight ( with batteries kept seperate) is a god send, and having a hiking companion with a great attitude can get you through anything. Happy Hiking!

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