The Hike

Once upon a time there were two people named Mary and John.  They lived in the gorgeous red rock country of Southern Utah.

On a beautiful morning Mary said, “It is a lovely day.  Let us take a hike and have a picnic, John.”

John agreed and they went to look at maps to find a route.  Finding things on maps has always been dangerous for Mary and John.  It often leads to misadventures.

“This looks like a good hike,” John opined.  “It is in the Kolob Terrace portion of Zion National Park.  I remember that there is a service road that can get us to a fine hiking spot.”

“I shall make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” volunteered Mary.  “We need to have extra energy so I will make some gorp out of what I can find in the pantry.  (This turned out to be crumbled biscotti and raisins.) And also carrot sticks.  After all this is a healthy hike.”

So off they went for their hike and picnic except that they got too hungry along the way and stopped at McDonald’s for a hamburger.  “We need even more extra energy,” they thought.

Up and up they drove, starting in the full fledging of spring in Virgin, UT and ending at the very beginning of spring in the park at 8000 feet.  Some snow was still on the ground. They turned onto a dirt road that took them to Lava Point Overlook.

“Alas,” sighed Mary, “the service road down the cliff is gated and locked! We must find another way down.”

So they found Barney’s Trail, a dirt path that led almost straight down the cliff and to the service road.

“This is very steep,”  Mary exclaimed.  But on they went and finally reached the road that took them to the West Rim Trail.  Unfortunately, this was also downhill although more gradually than Barney’s Trail.

On and on they trod, hoping for a fantastic overlook into Zion canyon.  “Just a half an hour more,” said John intrepidly.  Unfortunately, the overlook never materialized and now they were a long way from their start.  They decided to head back.

“We can do it!” encouraged John.  Mary started making small goals for herself. 

“I know I can walk to that tree ahead,” she determined.  “I shall count my steps and when I get to two hundred, we will have walked one tenth of a mile.”  Using this method they slogged their way up the gradual uphill to the service road and back to Barney’s trail.

“Uh oh,” thought Mary, “I shall never be able to climb up this cliff.”

“You can do it!” once more John encouraged.

Stopping every ten feet or so to wipe off the sweat, catch their breath and try to slow down their racing hearts, they crept up the cliff.  Mary almost fell once.  Finally they were at the top!

“We have done a fine job,” John exclaimed.

“Where is there a bathroom?” responded Mary.

The moral of this story could be: 1) Don’t be tired when you decide to turn around and go back; 2) it may be easier to walk uphill than downhill but it’s still not easy; or 3) what goes down must come up.

Note: For more fables, click on Modern Fables in the sidebar.




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