Gear is great. Plans are great, too. However, when you’re on the trail and your gear has been taken over by ants and your plan went out the window, well…suddenly those things aren’t so great.
Recently, a friend and I hiked part of the Ozark Trail. Our gear was solid and so was our plan, or so we thought. The first day went as expected with amazing vistas and decent weather. Then came day two, where we took a wrong turn in a thunderstorm. It was quickly followed by day three, when we realized we took a wrong turn. We weren’t technically lost, since we were still on the trail and could clearly see the markers, but I didn’t print off maps for that bit, because we weren’t going that way. Logical, right?
We eventually navigated our way to a nearby campground to reorient ourselves, but by then we were out of time and had to say goodbye to the trail. We were tired, sweaty, and slightly grumpy from being off course, but that isn’t anything a little music can’t cure.
Music from two forest-whipped, exhausted, lost hikers. Nothing short of nonsensical, I assure you. We took tunes from hits like “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat,” but with new lyrics about walking sticks and ice cream.
So the moral of the story is this: enthusiasm only gets you so far. I learned that the hard way. What gets you the rest of the way is up to you, but whatever it is make sure it’s on the trail with you. For me, good company goes a long way.