A Case for GPS

or….lost in the woods!

I had promised our son that I would take him to a nearby bike trail so he could ride today. He was so happy and so was I as I thought perhaps I might get to take some pictures.

We loaded in the bike and were on our merry way. When we arrived at our destination, Ben unloaded and began to ride. Since we were familiar with the path, he said if I walked the path, he would catch up with me as he would travel around it much faster than I. I agreed.

I sat in the Explorer for a few minutes,  looking at blogs on my cell phone. I wanted to just spend a few minutes relaxing.  It wasn’t long before I grabbed my (heavy) camera bag and hopped out of the car. I locked the doors, dropped the keys into the camera bag, and I was off.

I hadn’t traveled far before I began to take pictures. There was so much to photograph… I walked along the path, feeling great contentment as I snapped a photo here and there. As I walked, I could hear the sound of the brakes squawking on the bicycle so I knew that Ben wasn’t far off.

I was enjoying the sights and scents of the wood when I came to a sign that showed the path running left or right. Hmmm….I figured Ben would want to get the most for his money, so  took the path to the left. Oops.

As I walked about, taking more photos and just enjoying the peacefulness, I realized I didn’t hear the braking noise.  As  I looked up, I thought I saw a yellow marking on a tree, reassuring me that I was still on the correct trail. As I approached the tree, however, I came to the profound realization that what I had seen was actually sunlight creating a mirage to my eyes! As I looked about, I could see I was on a hiking trail.

Since I had passed several crossroads, I decided it would be better to press on than turn back. If I were to go back, I was afraid I might take yet another wrong turn and end up miles from  where I was supposed to be! I picked up my pace a bit, and walking briskly, my eyes sought out anything that might be a clue….

After walking for what seemed like forever, I came to a road. I was so thrilled to see the light of day, although the walk in the woods was so enchanting! The road I was on was really a very long driveway that leads to an observatory.  I walked along the road, thinking I was more than a mile from the bike trail.  I finally came to the main road and I just lifted up a prayer that Ben would be safe and protected and not worrying about me.

I walked, I ran….I was so happy I had replaced my flip flops for a pair of sneakers. As I walked,  my heart kept crying out, as I had no idea exactly how far I was from the bike trail.  As I entered a familiar area, knowing I was almost back, I looked up and saw Ben riding across the road. I called out to him and he came right over to me, asking where I had wandered off to!

We loaded the bike back into the Explorer and  I drove Ben back down the road to where the long driveway met the main road. It was 7/10 of a mile.  I figure I must have walked a good 4 or 5 miles today.

When Mark heard about my little (mis)adventure, he advised me that I might want to grab a handheld GPS.  Methinks I cannot agree more! After this little exercise in craziness, I know a GPS system could have shown me the correct path to get right back where I started.

I am so proud of Ben. He said he wasn’t worried at all, figuring I was off somewhere taking photos! Smart kid, he really knows his mom!

So, here is a sampling of what I shot today. Oh, and by the way, as I was walking briskly back to the car,  I passed so very many opportunities  for some fantastic shots. I just ignored the urge to stop, as I felt an urgency to get back on track!