Our stake RS had a great service event last week. There were 101 choices of service projects to sit down and work on, big and small and at all levels of talents and interest. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I still get uncomfortable in big crowds. I used to hate to go to events that were crowded, wedding receptions, big parties etc. It doesn't bother me so much anymore, but I still find I feel more comfortable finding a spot with a few friends and staying put rather than milling around. Someday I should try to get over that. We spent a couple hours coloring alphabet books. Very theraputic.
Sadly, every time I saw the poster advertising the event, I read it to say "Our Hands ate His Hands".After the service project, Suzanne and I had planned a hike back out in the Cave Creek area. I invited a few other women at the last minute, but no takers. Probably for the best since it wasn't one of our best navigational trips.The creek was pleasant, the views were gorgeous, and the weather was perfect. We headed off on a trail that was about a 6 mile loop, we were hoping for about a 3 hour hike. The first third was a wide horse path, easy and smooth. The 2nd third was significantly more primitive. It narrowed and seemed to go uphill for longer than I cared for and very rocky and uneven, but again . . . great views, very green and pleasant for a wintery February day.
Our friend Jet and his dog Scooter was with us. He was a ways ahead of us and Suzanne and I took a wrong turn and headed up into a ravine for a ways. Well, in actuality, Suzanne didn't take a wrong turn. I did, and she dutifully followed. We probably spent an extra 15 minutes before we got back on the right trail. Clearly we weren't the only one to have done that. It was a well traveled mistaken path. Anyway, we found our way and found Jet waiting for us a ways down the trail. We then found a spring that was shown on the map. We know we are half way around the loop and we know we are still on the right trail. But we were so focused on seeing the spring, we missed the sharp turn a few feet before the spring and somehow we all lose the trail again. We wandered farther than we should have when we realized we were off the beaten path. We knew we had to be parallel to where the trail was but just couldn't see it. We talked about going forward until we found it again, but Scooter got into some cactus, my arm got scratched and was bleeding, Suzanne slips and takes a bit of a fall and we realized we've got to go back to the spring and find out where we went wrong. It was surprisingly hard to even backtrack our path and find the spring again. For a few minutes I was starting to wonder if we were needing to worry about our time frame and if it would be getting dark before we got back to the car. We certainly didn't want to be on a narrow, primitive path in a remote area as it was getting dark. We finally found the spring, found where we went wrong, and went the rest of the distance with no further problems. It was still a very rocky and uneven path, so we weren't moving terribly fast, but we were steadily getting back to civilization. Suzanne kept humming the theme from Gilligan's Island, about how they set off for a "three hour tour". It was getting dusky, but we finished the loop in 4 hours and got back before dark. And it had been a great afternoon after all. I don't think Jet ever wants to go back, but I think it was a learning curve for us and I would try it again. It's a pretty area....and all's well that ends well. This little rock marker looks like it had been added to be every hiker that passed. There were a couple of visitors in the parking lot when we got back. Scooter wanted to be a little more friendly than the three of us. I wished my camera snapped faster, they were nose to nose a second earlier.