Finding Success on the other Side of the Ledge
Now I'm not one to toot my own horn, but can we just say that I did earn some points on my self-navigation track record this year!
I may have waited until after Kaden and Kayson started hiking before I told Dustin I really wanted to go, but he found where they were going and dropped me into another canyon to meet up with them.
After hooking an extra tracking collar to my backpack and telling me he'd feel better about dropping his seven year old boy in the hills with the GPS instead, I headed in with the instructions to make it to the tallest tree Dustin pointed out and then a dry river bed that follows the canyon down.
I knew I had a 30 minute hike to find them so off I went with the goal to see how fast I could make it. I made it to that first tree Dustin had pointed out quite quickly… I also forgot my phone and I don’t wear a watch so my sense of time was nil this day.
I was PSYCHED when I hit that tree… a “hell yeah” out loud was said with perhaps a small fist bump because really, I have no sense of direction and I knew I had to prove something this day.
Next step was finding the river bed and luckily in a canyon that’s an easy direction to navigate, but let’s now discuss the conversation I had with one of Dustin’s friend’s wives….
We were eating dinner + chatting and she said, “Don’t you worry about snakes? I hear they are terrible this year.” Well, I hadn’t until now so let’s just say, “thank you Lexi” for that!
As I hit the river bed and began walking down it the only thing I could think about were dang rattlesnakes. I remember saying out loud, “that looks like a good spot for a snake to hide” and “damn you Lexi!” The entire time.
I kept plugging along trying to see how fast I could make it to meet up with the guys and I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to be the worst mistake we made today. Funny how we start to doubt ourselves when the fear of being alone in the hills with no sense of direction kicks in.
Now the creek bed started to get higher and higher when it came to how far I had to jump down so I had to begin to navigate the hills and ledges on either side realizing I wasn’t sure what side they’d be on.
I forget how much I rely on the security I feel when the dogs are with us so of course my mind started to play tricks on me. I thought I was hearing things only to stop and realize it was all in my head.
I remember at one point trying to determine if it was worth heading back to where I came from or keep going. I’m not one to quit, so I focused on moving forward and pushed out everything else except for finding the others.
I’ve never really hiked terrain full of ledges so it was a lot of ups + downs until I hit a point where I had to pick a side. I was wishing I would have asked Dustin what side of the canyon I should stick to (noted for next time), but I picked a side and owned it until I got stuck.
I found myself on a ledge and didn’t know which way to navigate. I had yelled for Kaden to see if he’d be able to hear me with the echo of the canyon, but I got no response. I tried following some Elk tracks along thinking that they’d probably go down to find water at some point and I could continue on my merry way.
Well, I wasn’t sure how they got down and the edges were only getting higher. Now, there may have been some tears shed, me wishing I was in the comfort of the truck with other people instead of on a hillside by myself.
I walked circle after circle, turning around pissed off headed back to the truck and then talking myself out of it again. I tried finding my way down and looking over the edge to see if I could backtrack a little and then make it up the other side.
I just wasn’t finding the best route at this point and I was DONE. I was walking back to the truck mad at myself and wondering how far back I’d have to go when I heard a glorious yell!
Now, most days I wouldn’t call Kaden yelling glorious, but this day it made me happy because he’s spent more time in the mountains than I and to be honest, I really didn't want to lose another mountain navigation point with Dustin.
We finished the 5 ½ miles down the canyon + up the other side while finding bear tracks in between. We may not have found a bear, but this gave us our starting point for the next day which proved to be a success.
Now I want to compare this with our lives because how many times when the going gets hard do we finally give in? When the biggest success is just on the other side of that final ledge.
And how sweet the victory is when we decide to give our dreams, goals, and ambitions just one more shot and they are realized on the other side.
We might want to scream and shout + shed a tear or two along the way, but unless we keep putting one foot in front of the other, the life we want to live, the bear we want to catch, or the goal we want to reach will never be obtained.
So don’t give up, keep hiking that mountain, and soon you will find victory on the other side of that ledge.