Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stashing Firewood-a Trail Story

My hiking poles and gloves on the rock sort of give a visual reference on how large this Almost Cave-Overhanging Rock is.
Years ago I was hiking on a cold rainy day in March on the Trail of Tears in Southern Illinois. It was a great hike, but being my first backpacking trip, the gear wasn't exactly right. My kids and I had ponchos, not quite large enough, and the sleeves of my shirt were getting wet cause I was using hiking poles.
It was pretty cold, and we came upon a cave with a bunch of dry firewood stashed in the back of it. I'd call that trail magic today, then I just called it luck.
We made a big fire, had lunch, dried out, explored. Then, before heading out, we pulled in a bunch of wood to replace what we'd used so that it could dry out for the next travelers.
That lesson in good fortune stuck with me. A sort of Pay it Forward trail magic. Not using up everything, or leaving our trash behind, the karma we make is the karma we take with us.
A couple months ago, I found this huge overhanging rock shelter in my neck of the woods. Its a steep climb down to water from here, but its my favorite spot now. I stashed a bunch of wood today so that if someone happens upon it and needs a fire, there's dry wood.

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