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Once More Upon The Mountain

September 8, 2015

Have you ever revisited somewhere and not recognized your route? 

I went back up on Mt Timpanogos yesterday. It was a holiday and my family and I decided to hike to Scout Falls. This is the hike I got lost on two weeks ago. This time was different, but the difference was very slight. 

As I hiked the 1.5 miles to the falls, I watched for the spot I got off the trail last week. The only place I could find was a fork in the trail that has a log across one side of it. I don’t remember climbing over a log, but I guess I must have. 

We didn’t go that way this time. In addition to last weeks experience, I had also checked a map. 

As we arrived at the fork that points us to Scout Falls, I looked for familiar landmarks from last week. I didn’t see any. In fact, from checking maps and trail descriptions, I knew that Scout Falls was only 100′ off the Timpanookeke trail. That 100′ was literally climbing through a pine tree’s roots and then edging along a thin ledge while hugging the granite wall. 

The falls looked the same. 

And as we were admiring them, a couple came up the route that I had traversed. They came straight up the rockslide. 

They were clearly disoriented. We were sure to point them back toward the main trail. I stood at the falls and tried and reconstruct why I had misjudged the right route. Here’s the route that I should have taken. 

It doesn’t look like much from the falls. Now, here’s the route that I took instead.

It looks steep, but passable. My son wanted to know if he could climb it. “Go ahead.” He disappeared for a few minutes and quickly returned. The trail pretty much disappears right around that bend. 

How often do we get ourselves into trouble because we take what looks to be the right path? The actual trail looked less appealing, but was only hard for about 50′ or so. The wrong trail resulted in about an hour of scrambling over cliffs and pushing through swamps. 

I’ve been guilty at times of taking that path of least resistance. Of shying away from the hard path even though I know it’s only a short amount of pain and I’ll be on the right path. If I were a better philosopher than a storyteller, this would be the point at which I would provide some clever bit of information that would help you and me to push through that hard part. 

I don’t have that nugget of knowledge. I do know that everytime I try it, I feel better on the other end. I don’t think there is any magic phrase that makes us do the hard, but necessary thing. Just keep trying. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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