Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Which Travis Gets Lost and Turns Up Again

After church today we went to Stone Mountain for a little hike.  I had other stuff I needed to do, but the weather has been too gorgeous and I know it won't last. 

When Travis started off briskly down the trail ahead of us, I asked him to slow down a little.  He, very cockily, said he was just going to keep steadily on, which, given Katie's habit of starting every hike very slowly, with lots of stops for moaning and drinks of water, meant that he was certain to leave us behind quickly.  Which he did.  We lost sight of him almost immediately.  We have hiked the Wolf Rock trail many times, though, and I was pretty sure he would be okay.  When we had been walking for quite a while and still hadn't caught up with him, I did start to worry -- I had expected he would get thirsty and wait for me (the water jug carrier).  Getting increasingly anxious, I comforted myself by saying that he was bound to be waiting for us at Wolf Rock, and I made Katie hustle much faster than she would have liked in my eagerness to catch up with my wayward boy.  But when we got to Wolf Rock he wasn't there, and none of the other hikers I asked had seen him.  By this point I was imagining all sorts of awful things that could have happened to my sweet baby and hoping that he had hiked the loop with completely uncharacteristic speed and back to the car, just to show off.  Katie had been hoping to rest on the rock for a while, so I promised her a mini-Hershey bar to go with her ice cream and hurried her back onto the trail.  We both thought we heard Travis call, but when we yelled for him we didn't hear him again.  We were nearly halfway back when Katie heard a shout she thought was Travis.  We waited and called... more shouts.  And in a few minutes he caught up with us!

And for a few minutes he was a somewhat chastened, humbled boy.  And I was just grateful to have him back.
Turned out he had missed the Wolf Rock turn almost immediately, and gone partly up Stone Mountain instead.  He had waited on a bench for us for a while, then started thinking maybe he wasn't where he ought to be (for one thing, there aren't any benches on the Wolf Rock trail!).  So he went back down the trail, found the trail he should have taken, and tried to catch up with us.  Only, of course, we were moving much faster than we normally do, since I was trying to catch up with him.  He met up with several hikers who told him that His Mother Was Looking for Him, and he hurried after us.  By the time he caught up with us he was worried about whether he would ever find us again and also about how I would react if he Did find us.  Fortunately for him, I was much to relieved to be angry, but I think both kids now have a Very Clear understanding of how I feel about children who don't stay near me on the trail!

And, of course, we finished with ice cream.  We needed fortifying even more than usual today.  But it was a good day, now that it's ended happily!

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