We have a tradition in my house...it is called the Memory Jar. Inside of the clear Bormioli jar are thin slips of white computer paper. Every time something happens in our family that we want to remember we write it down and throw it in the jar. Every New Year’s Eve, my husband and I sit down together after the kids have gone to bed and we take turns reading them out loud.
Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.
Ha! Let me take you back to the beginning of the story.
It was a beautiful summer day. My family and I are usually on a trail somewhere when we are all together on a day like this. We heard about a trail loop on Parker Mountain, which isn’t too far from us. It wasn’t a very big mountain and the hike seemed totally doable for our young kids (3 and 5 years old at the time). We were also fostering a 2 year old, but we figured she could just ride on my husband’s back for most of the time. We found the trailhead and eagerly bounded up a pretty steep path. There was nobody else on the trail and my kiddos were in their element.
We found bright neon orange salamanders, strange looking mushrooms, and lots of squirrels. We were following the blue trail and we had my kids yell the color out every time they saw it marked on a tree. We finally reached what we assumed was the summit. We took photos and celebrated our victorious climb with 3 kids. After celebratory snacks, we continued on the trail.
After a little while... we could no longer find any blue markers. The trail was no longer marked very well. We ended up finding yellow markers. We thought…maybe this is part of the loop? Where two trails collide?
Oh how hindsight is 20/20. This is clearly where it all went wrong.
We continued on the yellow trail for a while when all of a sudden…there were no more markers.
We frantically followed what seemed to be a pretty clear trail, even though there were no markers. We could tell we were going downhill, so we figured we were on the right path. We ended up at the bottom of the mountain, with nothing but grass and trees ahead of us.
No roads, no civilization whatsoever.
It was clear pretty quickly that we were NOT where we were supposed to be.
The sun was beginning to get lower in the sky and I knew we were losing daylight. My kids were exhausted, it took us way longer to get down the mountain than it did to get up, plus it was dinner time. We took out our phones and by the grace of God we had a signal. We opened up our maps app and realized we were in the middle of no where. On the complete opposite side of the mountain.
We needed help. I cannot stress how miraculous it is that we had cell service way out there. We called the local police station who then encouraged us to call 911 so that they could track us better.
The 911 operator located us and was able to direct us towards an old dirt logging road where they could coordinate a local officer to meet us. We had to walk for another half hour before we got to the road.
So all 5 of us climbed into the back of the cop car and he graciously took us all the way back to our car.
What a ride!