You Can’t Always Trust The Map

fish lake

Fish Lake

I have done several hikes in the Uintahs, One year we decided to hike into Fish Lake. There are several Fish Lakes in the Uintahs. Ironically this lake had no fish to catch. We decided to go cross country to some lakes and found some hot fishing. We also hiked across some more country with out an established trail just using the GPS. What was nice about the GPS was using the track back feature. I knew exactly what the path would be like going back. The map showed a trail but I could tell that the trail would descend some before climbing back up. It would not be easy, I could tell. Someone in the group was rather insistent we take the trail back. I was reluctant because we knew what the terrain was like the way we came and I was not excited about losing elevation before we had to climb back up to our camp. We decided however to take the trail back. Little did we know what a challenge taking the trail would be. We soon ran into a river crossing without a bridge which we weren’t comfortable about crossing. We did a little scrambling cross country to avoid having to cross, but we had to face the music eventually and cross the river. I had my 10 year old son with me and was concerned about his safety, but through careful crossing, we all got across safely. When we had to climb a steep trail back to camp, someone started grumbling about the climb and I had to ask him to quit complaining because it might affect my son who was being a good sport about the whole thing. We made it back to camp as it was growing dark. I was glad to be back after the struggle of following the trail back.
I learned a lot that day. We had trusted ourselves to go cross country and had plotted the path using a gps. We could have saved ourselves a lot of grief by going back the way we came. The map told us that the way back would be hard if we took the trail and it was harder than we even thought it would be. We should have trusted our instincts and gone back the way we came. We had blazed a new trail and we should have trusted the way back. The river that almost thwarted our way back was easily crossable upstream. Sometimes we need to have more trust in ourselves and what we have learned along the way. The “safe” trail is not always the best way to get from here to there. We have a lot of experience that got us where we are. We need to put more trust in ourselves.

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