It’s been awhile since I’ve just set off down the closest path without having any idea where it goes. Usually I’ll have some kind of map or at least vague idea if I am going up a mountain or just skipping across a field or taking the cow path to a stock tank. It’s really very fun to not know. Around every bend you are looking for clues as to your destination. You know the path is there because people wanted access to something spectacular and the anticipation is golden, though it can be tricky to figure out what the “spectacular” feature is. I have walked miles on a trail to a supposed “natural bridge” to end up in front of what looks like a small boulder that fell on top of two other boulders… underwhelming and barely worth the signage, but a nice reminder that it’s all about the journey. In Capel Curig, Wales, bad weather was prophesied for the day (and trust me the weather reports in the UK do officially fit into the definition of “prophecy”), so we wanted to save our guaranteed spectacular walk at the higher elevation for a clearer day. And instead of beginning the very involved discussion of where to go that always ensues when 2 very passive people pleasers try to make a decision, I confidently declared that we should just take the path behind the B&B. You know, just GO.
Every trail seems to have its initiation phase and this one offered the patience test of unending bog. You’d think I would come to accept this. I am in the UK. I have never not even once beheld dry ground. As a matter of fact, most of the surfaces in the UK can barely be defined as earth. It’s all loch with varying depths of supportive sediment. And I will, and I’m not kidding, still be trying to keep my feet dry HOURS into the hike, leaping across rocks and boulders, tiptoeing, begging innocent clumps of grasses to support my weight. In only a few very special and tear inspiring moments have I fully relaxed int o the inevitability of wet feet and just confidently walked through the bog. I think it takes a long time to program the “icky” reaction out of a girl, this girl anyway. The mystery trail ended up being very lovely though, taking in a decent hill summit, views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance , a lake, and some richly colored rocks. Inspired by a bitter hatred of the there-and-back, we were able to create a very nice loop route, though it did require a trespass and an extra bit of ascent. We like hills. I like trespassing.
The next day was for the mountain. And a different post dedicated to it.
BTW~ Happy New Year all! It’s going to be a mindblower I can just feel it!