First, at some point Katie and I realized that we had diverted off the trail and were now walking up a mountain river-bed. Neither of us objected though because we kinda dig climbing rocks and scaling the side of small waterfalls. We reached one particular cascade and a group of other hikers were gathered at the base. They acknowledged being in a similar situation as us: lost the trail. Two of the guys told me they had tried to climb this waterfall but were unable. Well this was obviously a royal invitation to prove my adventure prowess, which I readily accepted. And with a few daring moves I had climbed the rock face. Unfortunately, in my eager haste I made a fateful miscalculation: I hadn’t removed my backpack. And as I tried to come back down the precipice I realized the bulky backpack was going to seriously hinder my mobility and endanger my musculo-skeletal safety. Fateful error #2: I decided to throw my backpack down ahead of me (about a 25 foot drop). After bouncing off Katie’s leg (leaving a huge black- and-blue bruise) it proceeded to bounce off a few boulders. The end result was a cell phone that didn’t turn on and sounded horrible when I tried to slide it open.
I sat dejected. The adrenaline high of my waterfall ascent had worn off leaving me morose. I loved that cell phone- its smooth sliding action, easy email access, and full texting keyboard! So I did what was required…..I sulked. I stewed. I whined.
And then out of the blue a guy comes walking up the river-bed. As he gets closer our glances met and a look of perplexed recognition came across our faces. “Brandon?” “Dave?” In the middle of the woods, sitting on a rock, not even on a trail, I had bumped into a friend from college I hadn’t seen in 6 years. Crazy!
We ended up spending the entire day hiking with him and his fiancé Amanda. They helped us find the trail which ultimately led to a scenic alpine mountain lake. And then they took us to a place where I had the best root beer float I’ve ever tasted.
And just to think…What if we didn’t get lost in the first place? Or what if I hadn’t scaled that cascade, or smashed my phone into oblivion? Maybe we never would have met up with them.