The “Lost Trail” Story

Short story long: Lori and I were once avid backpackers and Colorado was the perfect place for us. One long weekend, as she tells it, I tried to kill us.

We set off for the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado for a short three day adventure trip. Permits in hand, temps in the 80s, off we toddled. Soon, we came upon a poorly maintained trail that according to our map, followed the Lost Creek (absolutely no sense of foreboding with the adjective “lost”). Who could resist? Certainly not us. About a mile in, when the trail had turned to large river rock with no clear path, we were overtaken by a herd of Girl Scouts. With a lama. They too were looking for the trail and were running short of water. We gave them a liter of ours and off they went.

We figured we couldn’t be too far or else why would Girls Scouts be wandering leaderless so close to death? We never saw them again (another clue) but an hour later we were overly hot, running out water, and no creek in sight.

Assessing the now obvious clues, we decided to turn around and made it back to a creek, both of us showing signs of heat injuries and dehydration. I pitched the tent and filtered some water after which we both conked out.

Waking in a light rain a few hours later, I realized how close we’d come to disaster by not adhering to some basic principles like conserving water, never pitying Girls Scouts, and not becoming temporarily misoriented. Contrary to her version, we were never “lost”. My story, my choice of words.

Also according to her, it would not be the last time I would try to kill her. Ask about the Great Smokey Mountain trip!

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