Sometimes it's best to remember the 3P's and this was one trip where I scraped by ignoring them. Generally my innate sense of direction coupled with a knack for over-packing allows me to slide through some pretty tight spots. And this weekend I did again, but I don't think I want to play it much closer.
It was a late start to be sure. We left Boise early enough, around 8AM I believe, but after a stop in Twin Falls and a long drive in we didn't even get on the trail to the Williams Creek A-Frame above Salmon until late in the afternoon.
With our heavy sleds behind us and a pretty decent uphill grade it wasn't long before we were shedding layers and only a few turns later putting them back on as the sun fell below the western horizon. But we were on the right trail, right?
Well, actually, I wasn't really all that sure about that. And when the trail branched into five alternatives and two of them looked like really good options my skepticism of my own memory grew. I picked one, and Shelly, sensing my unease asked, "Are you sure this is the right way?" I glanced back at her and away at the fading light of the sun before returning with, "I'd put it at 78%." Which is, in my book at least, a pretty horrible sense of direction.
Why not look at a map you ask? Well, I'd love to, but unfortunately I never printed one off, though I promised I Shelly I would.
So, promising I'd check up on her, I double timed it down the trail at a near run, hoping in the twilight I might locate a cabin I'd never been to on a trail now without tracks, and it had been several days since the last snow. Everything looked wrong. I knew there was a lake next to the cabin, but kicking myself I realized that I had not checked a topo map as the slope to my right, where the cabin should appear dropped off sharply several hundred feet, not an environment conducive to standing water.
I accelerated further, to a pace which brought to mind "To Build a Fire." Now quite dark, I downed a cliff bar and left one in the trail for Shelly. Around the next bend however any fear I had subsided as a very well marked sign appeared, "Williams A-Frame."
It was a stupid combination: no map and a late start.
But we made it, and despite the fact that Shelly was battling a cold all weekend we had some tremendous food (we always eat like kings at cabins), read by the fire, played games in the sunshine, explored our surrounding and partook in the sometimes extreme sport of snowshoe sledding. The dogs, of course, were in heaven.