Leadership and Perseverance
It was 6:45 am and she was still sleeping in the neighboring room – with the door open for circulation. Should I wake her? Or should I steal out the door and commence hiking alone? She has been meeting fellow hikers fairly frequently at 7:00 am, I reasoned. So I texted, “Want to hike before it gets too hot?” We were at the trailhead by 7:30 – Gold Star to Wildwood – not a maintained trail but we were at least familiar with both ends. We dropped a car at Wildwood and set out for adventure. We got beauty. Red rock outcroppings and rock formations galore – all the features you never notice from the busy valley below. We followed the path, we followed washes, we followed wildlife trails. We got back on the beaten path and made our way along “the bench.” We confirmed that desert bighorn live here – all over the place. “You are a good trail finder,” she said. I nodded. Actually, I usually can sense where people need to go. I am also pretty good at getting them there. “People have not always acknowledged that in the rest of my life,” I said. She affirmed it was worth the steady ascent at the beginning of the trail. We found a random boulder. “I want to be on top that rock!” she said. And she did. We were not travelling an officially maintained trail and somehow we lost the usually travelled path. “I bet it is above us,” I said. “I bet it is below,” she replied. We cut straight overland through cacti, brush, chinle and talus. Then, the inevitable happened, she lost patience. “You are now fired as trail finder,” she jeered. “Where have I heard that before?” I thought sarcastically. Yet, 30 feet later, we stepped out on an unmistakably well-used trail. Some yards further on, we joined our destination trail, familiar and official. Another mile of rugged downhill hiking and we were at the car, fist punching the air, “We did it! We did it!” Hooray for us! Four hours of Wednesday morning well spent, followed by salad at an establishment that glorifies local produce.