Lost in the Woods


so yesterday Sam and I went to the dog park in Puyallup like we have a zillion times before. there being no one actually at the dog park (understandable for a 2:00 on a Tuesday) so we decided to walk through the trails around the park. I have been through these trails dozens of times before in the last few years. I’ve walked through there with friends, I’ve gone running through the trails for cross country, and I’ve gone through there with my sisters. eventually all trails lead back to one of the parking lots or out into one of the open, populated portions of the park. the trails aren’t too long and there aren’t that many of them. right?

wrong. turns out, there is actually a very expansive trail system back there, one I can’t believe I have never found or traveled down before. you see, normally you never actually get very far from the sights and noises of civilization. you’re likely to see a backyard and a house beyond the tree line, hear the noises of cars somewhere beyond your sight. you’ll see and hear some other people and dogs usually. but blindly following my happy and adventurous 1 year old Australian Shepherd through steep and increasingly narrow trails seems to have taken me into a whole new little world. a whole section of the forest that I never knew was there. and it was quiet. no other people. no cars. no other dogs. I saw nothing but trees and greenery. no clearings, no houses. when we had finally walked for about 45min we heard a loud creek. we walked down to it and Sam, hot and tired like me, splashed through it and then laid down in the cold clear water. lucky dog. unfortunately my shoes also got wet in the creek. now if this had turned into a survival situation, I would have been screwed pretty early on. wet feet will cause blisters and soreness, no bueno.


we continued on a bit past the creek but the small winding paths that Sam took us down started to become questionable as to their validity as a trail. so I made the judgment call to turn around and try to come back the way we came. while some of the branches had me a bit confused, luckily it was Sam the Aussie to the rescue with his super sniffer!! speaking of which, we also came across a clear plastic tuber ware container along the way which kind of seemed like it might have been a geocache. it was at the top of a short but steep hill, at the base of a tree. I opened it up and there were some random things like a smooth black rock, a monkey rubber stamp, a pen and a tiny notepad, among other random trinkets. I opened the notepad and it seemed to be a log of all the people who had come past that spot. there were names and the dates they were there. they last one was from 7/21. so I decided that Sam and I should leave our mark as well. when I left the last entry was from 7/23: “Kayla and Sam the Aussie were here.”

alas, the trail widened and turned to gravel and we knew we were heading back to the main park. even saw some people finally. it was a fun little adventure for Sam and I, who always waited for me if he went too far ahead. good boy!! but I won’t lie, it was a lot of fun. there were so many places where trails branched off, and I would love to go back with Sam and walk around back there some more! but this time, I will bring some food and water and be more prepared for a bit of a longer hike!

anyone else been on any fun hikes? or have a fun story of being lost? I want to hear it!
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