It was at Jefferson lake, which sits in the mountains between the cabin we're staying at and our friend, Clint and Jacqui’s house. It's a very pretty lake, with no one else around, and what seemed to be a nice, easy trail.
A little over 1/3 of the way around the lake, we had a decision to make.. Go all the way around or go back the way we came. This was largely dependent on our old man dog, but also on Kari’s balance and how rough terrain can be exhausting for her brain.
Garth wasn't really showing a sign of slowing down and Kari felt good, so we decided to keep going. This was mistake number 1.
It went from an easy trail to straight up boulder climbing. And since it looked like an easy trail from the car, we left our snacks and water behind. Mistake number 2.
The hike kept looking like it’d get easier in the distance, but it never did. The boulders became half the size of our dog and super loose. Kari started having a harder time with her balance and Garth straight up couldn't do it. Eventually, I was stuck with carrying our squirmy, 63lb dog across the sketchy-ass boulders.
Once we were 2/3 around the lake, I couldn’t carry the dog while maintaining my own balance on the boulders anymore. Ahead of us we could only see boulders. Kari was on the verge of tears. We didn't really know what to do. So I told them to rest while I went to the car to get food and water.
I high tailed it across the boulders alone. Sketchy as shit.
It was getting late in the afternoon, we had no cell phone service, limited food and water, and I was contemplating... Do we go back the way we came? It'd be a longer hike, but I think it'd be largely easier. Or do we try to get everyone across the rest of the boulders? What happens if one of us gets hurt? There was 1 fisherman on the lake that we could probably scream for if needed...
So, after getting to the car, I chugged a yeti of water and grabbed another yeti of water and snacks for Kari and Garth. The entire time, I was building myself up for having to carry the dog all the way across the boulders. A good 1/3 mile or so. Just waiting to sprain an ankle or some shit.
But then, while I was hiking back, I saw a trail in the forest... about 10 yards behind the boulders.
You've gotta be kidding me.
We'd apparently gotten separated from the trail at some point (mistake number 3) and wound up on the hardest route possible.
facepalm dot gif.
What originally looked like an easy hike turned incredibly stressful due to a couple dumb mistakes... but in hindsight, it was also pretty hilarious. And very pretty.
I'm really glad that none of us got hurt, haha.