In the woods

All I’ve got today is a story. A short story.

My friend K and I have been hiking the Mattabesset Trail. We’ve got a routine: we fuel up with brunch at O’Rourke’s Dinner, and then we hike a segment of the trail.

Over brunch today, as we looked over the map and trail descriptions, I saw a notation in the margin: “Dana, late fall 2008.” Meaning that she and I had hiked that segment of the trail together two years ago. And we still haven’t finished the damn trail. It’s about 50 miles altogether, though we’ve done some segments twice, or a loops with side trails.

Today we were coming from different directions, so we dropped her car off at Millers Pond in Durham and then took my car the far end of the segment we were planning to do. We chucked what we didn’t need in my car, zipped up our daypacks, and set off.

Five or ten minutes in, she suddenly stopped and turned around to face me. “Don’t kill me.”

“What?”

“I left my car keys in your glove compartment.”

So we turned around and headed back to the trailhead. And retrieved her keys, and set out again, cracking jokes about how familiar the trail looked.

We came to a road.

According to the trail map, K. said, we weren’t supposed to cross a road anytime soon. So I took a look at the map.

“Well, if we came down the road this way, then we should’ve gone the other way on the trail.”

So we retraced our steps again.

And then we stopped getting lost and had a gorgeous hike on a sunny November afternoon.

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