It’s 4 A.M. 40 degrees outside and I’m snug in my bed covered with my comforter. My brain says. “Get Up! You know you will forget this idea you’re writing over and over in your head!”
I finally get up, put on the coffee, grab a yellow pad and turn up the heat. So, here I am sitting in my bathrobe waiting for my coffee ready to tell you about getting lost in the White Mountains.
Before I share what happened, I would like to give you some background about me and my life… It’s okay I’ll be brief (I hope.)
Years ago, my senior high school yearbook gave me a tagline – “The longer one lives, the more one learns.” So, with this in mind here’s what I’ve learned:
What you heard is NOT what you think you heard.
I’m a terrible listener. I hear what they say and even the words, but that’s not what they are saying. Body Language 101 would have helped a lot back in high school. Maybe as a senior citizen I can audit a college course. I assume something that complicated must be taught at a collegiate level.
Your great sense of direction will get you lost.
This is not true because I don’t get lost just misdirected. Yep, still have this to learn.
Adventures begin when you change your routine.
Those that know me, know that I plan, check, double check, and even triple check my plans. Here’s an example:
Getting ready to travel with my rig.
First, I plan the journey with my online planer. It provides me a route to follow, based on my rig’s type, weight, height, length, and personal preferences like no tolls.
Next, I use my GPS to plan the route. The GPS I use is a special design for RVers. I enter the same rig and preferences. It then plans a route.
These two rarely match. GPS loves to send me down little side streets (maybe 10’ shorter.)
When traveling in mountains, I bring up the Mountain Directory and check for hazardous grades.
I have a similar routine before hiking but to be brief I think you get the idea. Hmm! Might be why I live alone… Just saying.
Read the story or skip to the photographs
Yesterday, I arrived in Franconia, New Hampshire. It is in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. “It is the most beautiful place to live,” said my friend Nancy encouraging my visit here. Indeed, my drive to here was breath taking and Franconia Gap stunning.
Today, it is foggy, raining, and cold. Not an ideal day to hike in the woods but maybe it will clear off. Keeping with my routine (remember what I said about changing a routine) I decide to go to the visitor center to make plans.
Lots of fog in the Notch, but just wet and drizzly when I arrived at the visitor center. Whenever possible, I go to the ranger’s station or a visitor center. These people know the area and point me in the right direction assuming I heard correctly.
A woman living in Franconia was a great help. I told her of my photographing plans, and she eagerly, tells me she lives in Franconia and would love to help me.
As a photographer, I asked if there is a good place to view a sunset in these mountains. She said with a small smile marking them on the map, “Sunset Bridge and Sunset Drive.” I think to myself, how simple it is for the few of us that can read. She adds as if hearing my thought “AND Sunset Bridge is five miles straight up the hill from where you are staying.”
I decide this evening my muse and I have a date with Sunset Bridge.
Now, I’m ready to go and she asks, “What are you plans today?” I reply, “I’m not too sure the weather is pretty gloomy.” She tells me about Lost River. It’s a tourist spot in a gorge with lots of photo opportunities, caves, and a waterfall. “It’s just down the road from here,” she says.
She tells me if I don’t want to drive through the gap on the interstate there is a side road that’s on the right and it will take you right to back to Franconia from Lost River. It’s a short drive.
I decide to head there after all it’s just down the road. So, just down the road to me meant to me to keep on going the way you were going.
Well, now the adventure begins. Remember earlier about what I heard and routines? Did I look on my map? Of course not. After about ten miles or so I started to think that maybe I missed it. So, I pull out my GPS and have it search for the Lost River. It finds it and asks if I want to navigate to it.
I touch the icon and I’m off. With no trailer attached the GPS sends me over a couple of “shortcuts” going around the town. What GPS didn’t tell me is that about ¾’s of the way there it goes through a gated community. The GPS failed to provide a pass-code so, I turn around and go back all the way to town.
After finally, realizing my mistake I find the place. It was a great hike over 1000 stairs with a great gorge, caves, waterfalls, and view at the top.
Did you ever go the wrong way? I did twice today. First, I turned north instead of south leaving the visitor center on the way to Lost River.
So, I’m leaving Lost River… Yep, wrong turn out of the driveway. I really do have a good sense of direction. I’m driving along on this winding, twisting, up and down mountain road thinking that the lady at the center must be on crack or something. Short drive my ass I thought.
About 40 miles later I realize that I’m going south instead of north. Lunch is going to be late. Dam I hope the photos are worth it, I think. Nothing like having lunch at two in the afternoon.
Tonight however, I did not get lost, and my muse surprised me with a beautiful sunset at sunset bridge.
P.S. Want more like this? I send these articles out to friends, photographers, and art lovers who want to improve their skills, and explore their creativity or simply enjoy my thoughts and stories and I would love to include you.
Tell me where to send it and I’ll send you a copy of Seven Moments an eBook, as well as articles, sneak peeks of my new work, and very occasional info about resources to help you with this creative craft we love.