As overlanders, we typically seek adventure in remote places away from the masses of RVs and pull behind campers. But truthfully, adventure can happen anywhere & at anytime. It doesn't matter if you're hard core & traveling across the deserts of Africa or just meandering your way down some path during a day hike. Adventure holds no prejudice. That's what we love about it and why we thirst for it constantly. Adventure for us is about experiencing new things and making memories in the process. Memories that help build character. But, I digress....
Adventure was on our minds as we drank our blissfully warm coffee and stared out into the mountain mist. Today’s agenda was simple. Go for a stroll through the woods and let adventure find us! With the kids finally up and ready to go, we bid farewell to our friend Adam as he broke camp and began to plot a route to his next destination. Our day pack in hand as well as the poorly marked trail map supplied by the camp host, we embarked on our journey.
The trail head was nicely marked and the path appeared to be well groomed. As we made our way down the path, we looked at the map and decided on a nice loop trail picking the shortest leg of the trail for the decent down to the lake shore. A quick pay off to keep the interest of the kids. However, we were having a difficult time locating the entrance to that particular trail. We came upon an arrow sign pointing in the direction of the lake. Confuse, but assuming this must be the trail, we turned and started our decent. The decent only lasted 50ft and we found ourselves walking a level grade just behind the campsites. A quick examination of the map showed that we were not on the trail we thought we were. After an about face, we made our way back to the original trail and continue in the direction we were previously traveling in. Half a mile later, the path was began to narrow and overgrowth started to become an issue. As we made our way through the overgrown sections, doubt began to enter our minds as to whether this was the correct path or was just another miscalculation. We pressed on nevertheless. That is until we came to the section that resembled a South American jungle. Not being one to give up easy, I pressed ahead to Scout the trail. Half a mile ahead and several more jungle like sections, I decided to call it. There were no markers and there was no other trail in sight. With my head hung low, I made my way back to Jen and the girls. This was not the way we would get to the lake. Not with out contracting poison ivy or getting all scraped up.
After a quick regroup, the decision was made to head back to the first trail we turned down and see where that one went. Again, we headed down the trail marked by a single arrow carved into a wooden plaquarde. We descended down the all to familiar section and made our way past the camp sites. Three quarters of a mile later, we found a sign with actual writing on it! They do exist!!! Now that we knew exactly where we were at, we just had to decide between two options. Turn left and we would begin the long switchback portion of the loop trail we were originally looking for, or go straight and go towards whatever is marked as cove. Our curiosity peaked, we went straight. For the next mile or so the elevation of the trail fell slow and steady as we wound our way down into the valley. The trail started to mirror a dried up creek bed to our immediate left and the descent became ever more difficult due to erosion and abundance of exposed tree roots. The air started to become moist and cool as the sun was blocked more and more by the dense canopy above and it felt more like evening than mid morning. In the distance, a glimmer of light could be seen and we could just barely make out the tree line. Making our way toward the warmth and the light, we traversed fallen trees and washed out hillsides til we were greeted by the rocky lake shore.
Making our way out of the tree line, stumbling over fallen trees and large boulders, we found a nice place to sit and reflect on our journey. The kids stood at the waters edge, tossing rocks into the lake as Jennifer and I watched on, reveling in the accomplishments of our children and how they overcame each and every obstacle set before them. The journey was not without it’s hardships mind you, but with determination and confidence that we could work as a family, we proved yet again that we could take on adversity and we could triumph! Today was a good adventure!