Sunday Morning Shorts: Week 10

Short stories told by our ambassadors. Each week a different prompt! 
Grab some coffee - Grab a seat

When have you gotten the most lost?

Clyde: I was hiking with three friends in Denali in the foothills of the Alaskan range about thirty miles from the road when a heavy snow storm blew in and we experienced a complete white out for over 24 hours. There are a few trails in Denali, but none in the unit we were in. All hiking is done by sight, memory, and one’s ability to correctly use a map! White outs can be scary and disoriented experiences on their own, and to make matters worse our GPS conveniently stopped functioning. Even with detailed topo maps of the area we could not be sure of our currently location. We were forced to set up camp and just wait for the storm to subside. Eventually it lessened enough to hike our way back to the road, but we were forced to stop the trip. Mother Nature can be fickle sometimes, but it just makes you value the sunny weather even more when you get it! 

Erick: Getting lost doesn't happen to me much. I almost always come prepared with a map, and I try to know my surroundings well beforehand. Recently however I decided to thru hike the mid-state trail (RI-NH) without a map. I didn’t think it was particularly necessary given the straightforwardness of the trail, and I ended up lost in a sand pit waiting for my phone to load google maps. Luckily I came across the trail after an hour of aimlessly wandering, but it was by no means an ideal situation.

Ethan: When I go to the woods, I don't go to conquer some big hike. I go to sit by the trees, feel the wind, listen to the birds, and to get lost. I don’t mean lost in a directional sense - I’d be pretty embarrassed to find myself seriously lost in the woods of Wisconsin or Minnesota where cell phone towers are visible from nearly every hill top. Rather, I mean to get lost in a stream of consciousness that I don't find in the manmade world. I like to sit and think, to forget about where I am, to forget about my responsibilities, and to simply sit in peace. In a world full of hustle and bustle, it's easy to get caught up in the rush of everyday life. It is easy to get caught in a fixed routine, separated from what is truly meaningful and important. Just as getting lost in a life or death scenario provides clarity on the significance of our existence, getting lost in a different stream of consciousness helps to realign one's understandings of the world. I find when I do get lost, it relaxes me for days on end afterwards. In my eyes, being lost is a good thing. I embrace it. It helps me realign and reground, and it’s a necessity I seek every now and then. For me, getting lost is not something to run from, but to run to.

Lloyd: Last year my girlfriend and I decided to go on a week long backpacking trip in Banff National Park. We arrived at the trailhead parking lot, looked quickly at our maps, and excitedly started to hike! After about an hour or so of fairly tough terrain it became clear that our maps were not lining up with the geography around us. Our maps didn’t indicate that there were any other trail options around, but after some deliberation, we eventually decided to return to the trailhead and attempt to sort things out. We arrived back at our car, and with the help of a confusing info panel, some locals, and some restudying of our own map, it became clear that we detoured on a 4 mile spur trail that was NOT the trail we were looking to hike! We eventually found the right trail, and with humility in the air, progressed to hike the 12 miles to our campsite. 

Grab a seat, grab some coffee and enjoy this weeks edition of Sunday Morning Shorts! Short stories told by outdoorsy people. We hope Sunday Morning Shorts will be a light, humorous, and interesting way to start your Sunday.