Teach me the way of the Trail

It’s Prep Week for the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail!

So far, I’ve determined that my big silver canteen waterbottle is missing, adding one more item to my Must Buy Before Trip list.

I won’t get too upset about it, because the trip will be worth it, or so I hope.  Expecting to encounter gnarly roots, overhanging rock-faces, tides coming in, tides going out, white sandy beaches and stumps / fallen trees.  Three companions.  Trees and camping and sunsets; 47 km’s over 5 days.

My hiking boots are new.  I don’t want to be the new idiot-hiker who’s all gung-ho with shiny buckles and about-face all up in the place about face, so I’m going to work on breaking them in this week.  We will see, if the rain lets up, I’ll get to the grind for a good dirtying.

If I was an ancient explorer about to venture on this trip, I’d probably be planning ahead more – list items in detailed lists, sort out your sortables, pack according to weight and weigh your pack to ensure you can hack it.  Would they make a time-sensitive timeline as well, points to arrive on time at, areas of undiscovered bounty to discover?  Instead I talk out my mouth about what little I do know, expecting on return my mouth has much more to say about it.

I have been lost in the wilderness before; briefly.  It was winter, and I was navigating using triangulation from one end of a little island to the other end.  I used a large, frozen pond, for now we’ll call it Sparkle Pond, as my first point of reach.  Once I arrived at Sparkle Pond, I was then supposed to get my compass out, and adjust my angle towards the next point of reach, which, if triangulated properly, would bring me to the edge of the island at my specific pick-up destination.  Well – what I hadn’t accounted for, was the tiniest little Blip Pond which happened to be a close first point right before reaching Sparkle Pond.  When I reached Blip Pond, I took it for Sparkle Pond, and adjusted my angle from there, driving me directly down a wooded valley and onto a new, and also very frozen pond, which according to my map, should not have been available to my path.

It was then I realized, I was lost.  It was hilarious that this had happened – alone in the winter woods.  Had there been two brains to work it out, maybe we could have talked the knot away, backtracked, eventually discerning the place of mistake.  But as people do, when alone, the fear creeps up the spine, and I kind of just looked around blankly at all the snow.  Listened.  Idiot – what’s listening going to do!  It was pure quiet.

I pursued the direction of FORWARD at this point; generally using the compass to direct me in a direction that I felt was where I should be headed.

It worked out.  I was only one bay over from my targeted destination.  This trip has a map with a route all layed out and everything, should be synchy, no?



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