Now this title could take you in a couple of different directions — lost adventures or the adventures of being lost. I’m going down the path of the latter.
When was the last time you got lost? What was your experience of that: were you frightened or panicked or did your inner ‘role with the punches’ lead you into a memorable adventure?
My husband and I were hiking near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, in the fall. The aspen trees were getting their golden leaves on and the woods were glistening with color. Early one morning, just after sunup, the path we chose led to a small lake with a waterfall and we guessed, based on the distance, that it would only take us about 45 minutes – a short hike, but assured to be quite beautiful. We weren’t equipped for anything lengthy but had a backpack with a couple of bottles of water and enough room to throw in our jackets if we got warm and a hiking map of the area.
Looking at the posted map at the trailhead, and after noting our entrance onto the selected trail, we headed into the woods on our adventure. We walked through wooded areas that lead to open meadows and back into the woods again. We savored the mountainous beauty surrounding us, chatted about our adventure, and enjoyed the dewy sparkles accented by the rising sun.
We walked and walked, sure we were following the right path, but after 3 hours of romping in the hills and working up a thirst, we realized we were nowhere near any lake and there was a pronounced absence of any audible evidence of any nearby stream. Time to pull out the map!
Oh my! We missed our turn! Retracing our tired steps, sun high in the sky by now, with map in hand, I felt a little discouraged. Glad to have someone with me, but discouraged. As I watched the moist dirt path beneath my feet, I came upon a gift. A dampened, yellow, fallen aspen leaf on the earth’s surface with just the right mixture of dew and dust to form a smiley face. A little gift from nature encouraging me amidst my plight of being lost.
Eventually, we arrived at our selected awe-inspiring destination and the talisman discovered in my path encouraged me all the way back to the car where we could rest our tired feet and head back into civilization to find some nourishing vittles to quell the growling bellies.
The moral to this story – When you’ve lost your way, pause and look around. You just never know what adventure awaits, and you might just find a ‘sign’ to lead you toward your destination.