Eureka – Finding California

 The Road – part 2

Where There is no Road.

There are places that are just too wild for a road to be built.  This can be a good thing. There are some places that are just too sacred to be profaned with asphalt and easy access.  Let the roads be washed out. Better yet, let them fall entirely into the sea, never to be rebuilt.  Access to these places can be the old way, one foot in front of the other, carrying all that you need on your back.  Factor in to that the flowing creeks that come alive in the wet season and you’ve got some fun to look forward to.

Your pack is wearing ruts into your shoulders and you’re already feeling pain in new places from the last few hours of marching in soft sand with your sixty pounds of gear and a board under your arm. Then you come to the creek. Big deal.  No really, it is a big deal.  You’ve got options to weigh here.  First scout for a possible way over the creek that will keep your feet dry. If there is a route it will most likely consist of a gamble of your balance and wits against luck and gravity, with stakes ranging from a wet foot, to a six-foot fall off a slippery log with your pack doing nothing to help you. Consider carefully.  Another option is to take your boots off and ford the creek barefoot or with some slappy sandals. This hurts. The water is really just fresh-squeezed ice, and it’s carrying small rocks at speed, aiming for your numb ankles. But make it across with no major incidents and congratulations, you’ve got dry socks and boots to look forward to until the next creek.

There is yet one other option.  Just shrug your shoulders and tromp boot-first into the creek, damning the consequences of the wet feet and the grief they will bring.  Nothing worth-while comes easily, right?

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