sometimes you go the wrong way and you end up in the right place…

it happened to me recently.

A few weekends ago I took the junior highers on fall retreat.  It was the same location as last year… only sunny this time.

In fact, I had no idea that this mountain was right outside the big lodge windows!!

Pretty spectaular….

I love retreating, can I just say that?  It’s just so …. relaxing yet exhausting, goofy yet powerful, intense yet crazy… Its everything really.   It makes me thankful I have such great 8th graders, even though they woke me up in the middle of the night, even though they took pictures using a flash the entire way up the dark mountain, even though they brought makeup this year and talked about boys, even though they really want me to do everything they are doing every second of the day…

sitting by the fire

They are just seriously the coolest kids I know.

So cool in fact that we went on a little hike.  It was advertised to us by the lodge manager as a mild walk — level and very short.  Some of my girls came, and so did some other jr highers and a few other leaders.  But I drove the van that left the parking lot first and I had the map.

Now before I begin, when I say “map” I really mean a 4″ x 5″ paper with one dark squiggly road on it and a few labels along said road.    I am told, oh, you can’t miss it, it’s around a bend and there is a ranger station.  It’s supposedly called Artists’ Point.

I pull out of the lot, and begin going further up the mountain – winding winding around the curves.  Really spectacular  views … yes, but I was told this place was not far… so where is it?  (and for those of you that don’t know — unlimited hot chocolate at the lodge + switch back roads + the 12 passenger van + kids + too many minutes = a nervous leader who did not bring Dramamine on this adventure.)

Luckily, just as I am about to be seriously worried… we pop out from the road into a parking lot.

No signs to be seen about what the trails were called, but there were tons of people there.  Not a spot in the parking lot.  

We all eagerly jump out kids start running around.  We find the trail head, and with other people all around start walking.  There were big  rocks the kids loved climbing, small areas of snow for a few snowballs, big puddles from melting ices to splash in. 

We keep going on this trail and pretty soon it starts to get steeper, and steeper.  The kids evidently slept way better than I thought last night, because they have energy to burn and still racing ahead.

And before we know it, we are all hiking up the switchbacks up this mountain.  Now, before you think I am whining… This was some serious steep-ness.  Most of the path became small rocks, which started falling as people were walking on them.   This cannot be right, I think.  This is not a short stroll through the woods.  This is like mountain climbing.   {kids beat leaders hands down though, for what it is worth…}

But finally, after what feels like forever… I realize we have not gone the wrong way.  Maybe different from what we set out to do, but certainly not wrong.  We have reached the top and you pop out right next to Mount Baker and all this beauty all around. 

mt baker!

It certainly was the right place to see all that splendor.

 

…and when we returned we played a very excellent game of  Ticket to Ride, our now yearly tradition….

…with more hot chocolate, but of course.

I hope every weekend is full of fun, laughter, games, deliciousness, and taking wrong turns to end up in exactly the right place.

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