When I was a senior at Logan High School (1980), my friend Jessica and I decided to go hiking at our local park after school one day. The trails are clearly marked so we didn’t see a problem. We met after school and started up the “Backbone Trail”, which just happens to be the longest and most backbreaking trail in the park.
We were actually doing fine. It was hard, but we climbed up the mountain and over logs and whatever obstacles were in our way. We even saw a whole herd of deer running through the valley.
Unfortunately it got dark – something we didn’t factor in.
When dusk fell we realized we should get back. The problem was we didn’t know which way was shorter – to finish the trail or to go back. We knew to go back that it would take at least an hour, so we decided to finish the trail. WRONG! It finally got so dark that we couldn’t see the path in front of us – or behind us for that matter.
To make matters worse Jessica got scared and started to cry. So I had to take charge and lead the way out. We had to turn around and she kept saying she couldn’t see the trail and we were going to die. I couldn’t see it either but I wasn’t about to let her know that. I kept
telling her that I had really good eyesight and I could see just fine! She was panicked enough to believe me. The whole way back down the path I really had no idea if we were on the path or not. Finally we came to a massive tree that we had climbed over earlier. I just kept walking and talking the whole way because I knew I had to keep her as calm as possible. Unlike Jessica, I had spent much of my childhood in the woods and I knew the worst thing possible would be to panic.
Finally we came out next to the ranger’s cabin. We had to walk about 1/2 mile back to the car. It was dark but the road was paved, so it was alright. When we got back to the car the ranger had locked the gate right next to it – so we had to walk the 1/2 mile BACK to the
ranger’s house. We had to get him to go unlock the gate, but he made us walk back to it again.
We finally made it back home and collapsed in our beds.