So… the sunshine finally came out and we are at a secret getaway spot in Southern California where we love to go…a boutique hotel nearby this amazing trail…I’ve been a little challenged by some health decisions and multiple discussions with some of the best doctors in the world (see www.healing-blog.com for latest details), so today Dave and I had to make a lot of decisions about my health, our future and about our path forward. We went on a
“peaceful” trail walk nearby this boutique hotel which was hidden in the California mountains. One of our best friends recommended it, and as a matter of fact, gave us a gift to take a couple days off to decompress, re-energize and re-focus, since we have had a few challenging times due to my health and Dave’s dad passing (see www.galoulloa.com).
We got a map of this wonderful trail and started walking. It had rained for a couple days in a row and we finally got sunshine in California so it was the perfect day to take a walk and talk…away from traffic, away from computers, away from telephones…so with a map and two big smiles, we started to walk.
First and foremost, we couldn’t find the trail. We walked along a paved road for a long time trying to find the entry to the trail. Awhhh…after bordering the big golf course, we found the entrance to the trail. But could it be? There are so many puddles there all over the place…is this the trail or a small river? Does it stop here? Oh no, it’s just lots of puddles. Heck, we have all day, and we are very adventurous, so we didn’t let the puddles stop us. We kept on following the map, chatting, enjoying the quiet adventure, walking over more and more puddles, some we had to throw rocks in the middle to cross, or get creative and walk over plants. The storm the night before “affected” the trail walk by throwing in mini-rivers for us to jump.
Quitters? No way! we are not turning back, I said, excited to follow the map. We found a gopher which I was very excited about, had never seen one. We even saw lots of birds…and wildlife was gorgeous.
About an hour and a half into our trail walk, it started dripping a little bit of rain. Oh how it reminded me of the jungles and hot rainy days in Ecuador and Honduras…except it wasn’t so hot and the rain wasn’t as pleasant. I had my sweatshirt on with a hoodie — great protection from the drips of the rain I thought, Dave had a hoodie too. After about two hours, I kept on trying to look at the map and reference the hotel which we had lost sight off by now. Our 2 mile hike turned into a 5 mile hike…and the rain kept getting stronger. Finally, we find a map of the trail, and it was completely different than the resort map, and we could not find a “you are here” spot. When we finally found the washed up spot, it said that the trail we were looking for was temporarily closed for winter.
Uh-huh! Lesson number 1, do not hike trails in the winter even if in California unless you check if they are open! We had walked for about 2 and a half hours and I did not want to turn around in the heavy wildlife trail under the rain which was getting stronger. Dave and I kept on walking and saying to ourselves…it’s not the destination, it’s the journey, so we started enjoying the rain some more…
All of the sudden we find a tall freeway (tollway bridge) and the trail ends all of the sudden. No idea, the streets do not show on the map. We are off the map. Where are we? I have never climbed up a mountain all the way to the top of the freeway. Now I know how homeless people feel when they live under tollways. Yippee no rain there! But we couldn’t stay back there too much longer, we were ready to come to our beautiful five star hotel. It seemed soooo far at this point…
But wait – “Dave, honey, did you bring your cell phone so we can call the driver to pick us up?” “I didn’t bring mine because I didn’t want to be near my “crack-berry.” Says Dave: “Oh no honey, I left my Iphone because I didn’t want to be around technology and wanted to enjoy our walk.” So I responded: “Cool, no worries honey, did you bring some money for a cab?” Says Dave: “Oops, no I left my wallet because I didn’t know this trail walk would be so long, I just thought it would be a walk around the hotel.”
LOL in CAPITAL LETTERS At this point 🙂 all we could do was smile and enjoy the adventure. God set it on our path for a reason. Sometimes we are in difficult situations that we don’t chose and we HAVE to enjoy the journey. We hiked up the mountain and ended up on top of the tollway. It was a dead-end tollway which was under construction. Not a soul there to ask. It started raining heavier and all we could do is keep walking. We knew if we found the place that would start going down the mountain and follow the streets we might find our hotel. No money, no phones, and a wet map. Dave looks at me and smiles and we know it’s about enjoying the journey. We curved around and walked fo about 45 minutes in the rain…and finally found a street that sounded familiar. It was a dead-end on one side so we figured to find the other side and we might end up close to the hotel.
Finally, the hike turned into an almost six hour adventure. Wet, muddy and hungry by this time…and with achy feet, we decided to celebrate that we found our way back with no money and no phone.
A nice bubble bath later, a romantic dinner at the restaurant, and we talked about magical moments we experienced through our adventure. Sometimes when we are hit with challenges we fail to see the gifts that are delivered during that challenge. Spending six hours without phones and without traffic and noise was priceless. Kissing Dave with our hoodies in the middle of the rain was priceless. Getting our tennis shoes dirty with mud was priceless.
Sharing this story with you…priceless. Thank you for letting us share our adventures with you…