What I did not realize was two days before the area had 10 inches of rain fall in a very short period of time. The National Highway had been closed for a period of time due to flooding. AND there are beautiful streams that run through the land.
Add to this the unusually dry past few months they had experienced and you have all the ingridents necessary for a flash flood. The dry ground had turned to sand and the vegetation was had died from lack of rain. Then the waters pouring through the area pushed the sand and dirt down the dry creek beds. It all comes to a halt when there is an obstacle such as a wooden bridge and the mud drops.
The first couple of bridges we crossed presented no problem, but then we found ourselves at the bottom of the ravine. The mud was soft, gooey, and deep. We began to explore ways around the deep mud filled trail. It is NOT a pretty sight to see me pulling myself up the side of a deep ravine trying to get above the quick sand like obstacle. My first try lead to turning around and retracing my steps to try the other side. As I cling to trees and bushes trying to pull myself up and keep from sliding down, I am holding The Wonder Dog. He may be traumatized for life. FINALLY I make it to the edge of the bridge by walking the railing. THEN there is another field of mud on the other side. At this point, I get wise and follow in the footsteps of my friend, Mark. Carefully placing my foot in the deep prints left when he crossed the mud filled path, I was able to get to the other side and climb the ravine to go around the remaining mud. It was NO walk in the park.
While thinking this over, I began to realize how like life this little hike was. The trail is often beautiful and luring us into a false sense of safety. We turn a corner and there is the mud filled path staring us in the face. Trying to get around it can prove to be a dead end and often we have to retrace our steps. It often takes trial and error to realize someone is right in front of us pointing the way. A trail of footprints, or crumbs, or arrows point the way for us. All we have to do is stop looking at our toes (right past our navel) and glance in front of us to see we have been left directions on how to continue down the path.
The mud of the trail and the mud of life can all be washed off. The beauty of the trail can only be enjoyed if we work our way through the mud and continue down the path. At the end of this trail was the most beautiful sight of the entire hike-
We would have missed it all had we not gone through the mud. It was more than worth the struggle.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a
firm place to stand.