Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lost in the Woods Part 2

Link to Part 1

The jolt of seeing someone from the "outside world" helps me to finally climb out of my inner emotional hole.  I grab a Gu pack for some more calories and hope it helps.  Taps is quick, so I had a feeling he'd catch me soon, and he certainly does.  He again suggests we work together, and I'm more than happy for the company at this point- anything to keep me from being the crazy crying cussing monster I'd been for the last hour plus.

While I've seen Taps attentive, calm, and thoughtful, that's about as doleful as he gets.  He's a positive person with a good amount of energy.  Just working together improves my mood.  He shares his difficulties with the directions and the map, I share mine with the terrain.  We might actually do pretty well together.  Too bad I "poo-poo'd" the idea of working as a team at the start.  Between the two of us we find book 6 with little issues.

Found in a stone wall near the boundary of Fox Forrest

The relatively easy find lifts my spirits even more.  We're headed towards Book 7, the first of the set that Puma hid.  The tone of the directions change with the new author and we're struggling a bit.  We run into Puma on the way.  While it was great to see another face, it was kind of a bummer that we came upon her while she had the book in her hand.  It was great to cross another one off the list, though.  I might have been feeling better emotionally, but I was starting to get physically tired.

Up, Down, back, forth, that's pretty much what this adventure was like.

And now we're three.  We're in the same part of the woods we ran through on Puma's birthday run, and I recognize it.  I point out to Taps where he drove his truck onto the now unused Concord End Rd to pick me up the very last time I seriously hurt my ankle.  We laugh and laugh about how I always hurt myself.  hehe... awww...

The directions have a funny little passage on the way to Book 8:
"There is a crevice in-between two of the boulders that I would take a closer look at.  It would make a good hiding spot would it not? Oh well, continue your NE climb..."  
"What is that supposed to mean?" Taps wonders.  Puma's following us, trying not to lead us where we're supposed to go.  I have an idea.... and it's Trail Magic!!

Yum- frosty beers!

My stomach is churning from crying and poor eating, and Taps is playing last-minute anorexic to win his Biggest Looser contest at work (he did, btw, for $230 prize), so we split our beer.  We get back on the trail and I'm feeling confident (it could have been the booze talking).  Not far along the trail we find Book 8.

Another Jesus book.  If you didn't know us you'd think we were religious folks.  In reality we got all these from the dump.

We miss the turn from the trail to the unmarked "Ancient" trail and Puma corrects us.  I'm glad we didn't waste time, but it's hard to go with someone who knows where they're going.  Taps suggests we hang back as she goes ahead, and I'm happy for the break.  We study the next few sections of directions.  I know we've been on parts of this trail before, but everthing looks different in the winter.  We confirm the directions on the map, spending some time ensuring we wouldn't get lost.

We follow the trail with no issues to Book 9, eventually finding it well hidden in the bridge discarded at the side of the stream.

All three of these children could represent my emotional status at some point during this adventure.

Now we came to the "Choose your own adventure" portion of the show.  No, really, it's in the directions.  We could choose one of three ways to get to Book 10, hidden at the kiosk in a large, recently logged area of the forest. One way had you continue down the trail and meet up with Ridge Trail, following established routes.  Another had you backtracking to Concord End Rd.  The third and most direct course was to follow the stream back to established trail.  We only had one book left, and we were both eager to get it and finish.  We chose to follow the stream until it met with the run-able trails/roads.  Following the stream WAS direct, but it was challenging- again post-holing through snow covered tree fall and rocks.

It was great to run again once we got to Concord End Road.  I didn't care that my feet were wet- I could smell the finish and we were covering ground faster at the end of this run then we had all day.  We were able to run all the way to the kiosk in Oak Lot, passing Puma along the way who had taken a different route, where the final book was hidden beneath a rock.

I barely looked at the title- just tore it out and stuffed it in my pack.  I was ready to be done.

I look at Taps- there's no way we're bushwhacking through the woods.  We both want to run.   We again chose a runnable path back to Puma's- about a mile of path, old road, and country dirt road.  I was huffing and puffing by the end, but I wanted to be DONE.  I was euphoric and emotionally drained.  10 minutes after finding Book 10 we were running into Puma's driveway to the sound of cheerful cowbells.

My triumphant "I'm not lost in the fucking woods anymore" finish with Taps by my side

4 Leaf had finished almost an hour before us.  Puma was maybe 10 minutes behind us.  Moose and Gazelle about 45 minutes behind her.  The usual post-adventure post-mortem occurs- everyone enjoying the warm sun, sharing when they got lost, their struggles and triumphs.  I try not to relay how crazy I was, the ultimate lows of my adventure, but I couldn't muster a  lie either.  I held it together...

Until... stubbed my toe and foot.  I went inside I cried trying to get it all out.  4-Leaf had put a lot into organizing this adventure and I was trying not to let him know how traumatized I was by all of it.  And I was ashamed that I was being childish.  I cleaned up and went back outside to gather my stuff and clean up.  Then my loving runner had to go and ask if I was ok.  I couldn't keep the crazy girl from the middle of the woods out of my voice, so my general, "Yeah, I'm just great" came out sounding the opposite.  As a loving bf would, he followed me as I tried to run away, and urged it out of me.  I broke down , told him I hated it all and asked him to never ask me to do this again.  He chuckled a bit (I mean, I was ridiculous), hugged me, rubbed my back, and told me it was all ok.

Then he said we were going back out to pick all the books up the next weekend.

My actual scanned map and directions.  If you look closely you'll even find where I bit it out of frustration.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home