Elevator Shaft Meander

So we’re clear. That once we hit the top of the mountain. You have to be in charge of finding the trail. I won’t be able to help us.

I warned her.

Really, I just wanted to get some trail time in on my day off.

And Rogue wanted a specific type of trail. The type that would kick her ass.

So obviously Elevator Shaft.

Well that seems like a bullshit idea. But fine.

When we got there, we had our standard Rogue-Sunshine pre-run conversation. Do you think we’ll need more water than this?

Nah. It’s only 10 miles. Less than that if you let me take the road back.

And off we went. About 12 ounces of water each. And precious few snacks.

And we hit the first climb.

And Rogue suddenly remembered this trail from last summer.

And what bullshit it is.

And that if she made me do the out and back instead of just running the road at the end. We’d have to butt scootch back down.

So I was pretty sure she wouldn’t make me out and back it.

Got to the top. And Rogue. Being Rogue. Wondered where the trail takes you if you go left.

That doesn’t matter right now. We’re going right.

Under my direction, we made it to the fire road. Where I directed Rogue to look for the back of a stadium chair. That served as the marker for the trail entrance. The last time I was there.

I don’t know why. That’s just what it was.

Thankfully, my trail instincts are impeccable. Because someone had removed the stadium chair back. For inexplicable reasons.

But I found the next trail anyway.

And I got us over the rocks.

And here is where my direction ends.

Not a clue. Not a clue where the next trail picks up.

And Strava. Being the usual bitch she is. Was absolutely no help at all.

So we wandered up and down the trail a bit.

Then decided that just turning back and butt scootching back down the shaft would probably be our best bet.

Got back down to the fire road.

And came to the point where we pick up the ridge line back over to the shaft.

But Rogue. Being Rogue. Said she wondered where the fire road led to.

So we wandered. On out the fire road.

And then took a trail to the left.

And here’s where it got a bit dodgy.

Because Google maps suggested that we were headed towards…Interstate 81?

And the trail eventually died out.

Wait. We told Fall Risk we were coming out here, right?

Yeah. She might notice we’re missing sometime tomorrow.

Fuck. You’re right.

And I was getting hungry.

And the sun would be setting soon.

And our maps weren’t being entirely helpful.

And we were definitely about to run out of water.

But we managed to use our maps enough to determine the general direction we should be headed.

And so we started just cutting a direct path through the wilderness.

And eventually ended up back on a trail.

Which we decided was probably the ridge line trail.

Because we have impeccable trail instincts.

“See? We knew where we were going. We just didn’t know where we were.”

Ok, Rogue.

And we did eventually end up at the top of the shaft.

And Rogue. Being Rogue. Again wondered where-

No. We’re going down this. And back to our cars. And on to food.

And it was just as bullshitty going down as it was climbing up.

But butt scootching was about as awful as precariously stumble sliding down on your feet.

And near the bottom…

Rogue noticed a fire pit. That neither of us had ever seen before…

Wait. *turning in a circle* Do you recognize any of this?

Was the forest this dense on the way in?

Did the side drop off over there like that?

But there aren’t any other trails that shoot off of here. Right?

No no. It was fine. We were fine. Everything was fine.

We made it back to the creek crossing.

Where we lingered for a bit.

Because WTF.

And then into our cars. And on our way to our homes. Before dark.

So, here’s what our route should have looked like.

Here’s what it actually looked like.

And really. Would you expect anything else from us?

But look. Getting lost in the woods for three hours was just about exactly what we needed. In the midst of this shit show of a pandemic.

And lord knows my body appreciates the trail miles. In light of all the road miles I’ve been putting her through lately.

And I really, really hope that we’ve all got this Elevator Shaft bullshit out of our systems for a while…

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