I had an appointment in Griffith Park this morning, and afterwards I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I wonder where that little track over there goes?”
I wasn’t really dressed for hiking, although those Merrill flip flops are extremely tough, in their fifth year and still going strong, they are still flip flops. But it’s a path in Griffith park, not Kilimanjaro, how hard can it be. It was fine until the path ended and I was faced with either retracing my steps or taking a steep short cut up to the path above me. I do hate going backwards.
Unfortunately the path was not as close as I thought it was. That first steep scramble led only to a much longer steeper scramble. The wise woman would have turned back… but turning back involves the tricky manoeuvre of looking down without – and this is the important bit – without hyperventilating. I continued onwards and upwards, and as I lumbered up inch by inch, flip flops and painted toenails digging into the shifting sand that threatened to send me sliding several hundred feet, I thought to myself, “This is how it happens. This is how you become an early morning news story on KTLA 5.”
Long range cameras will be zooming in on me clinging to the side of a scrubby hill whilst viewers at home say, “What the bloody hell is she doing? What a plonker.” My mortification will know no bounds when I am rescued by park rangers and wrapped in a tin foil blanket. Silver is so not my colour.
On that note, a recent article reports that hikers are being urged to use old style maps instead of relying on GPS alone since the number of rescues are rising due to phones being out of range, batteries dying, google maps lying, and people not being able to accurately decipher the two inch square of information which shows them only where they are, not where they want to be.
I feel very smug about this, since over the years I have received many scathing comments about my dedication to navigating using the old style 300 page Thomas Guide map book… I might need mountain rescue from time to time, but it’s not because I’m lost!