Monday, June 02, 2014

The Spike


This railroad spike I picked up is my souvenir of the great adventure.

I was at a mini-conference yesterday. About 16 of us. Discussions, a couple of meals, I don't know about you but I just love breaking bread with a crowd around a table. The host's house was big enough to seat all of us together at a huge table. I love when people you don't know very well shine the light on themselves and share their passions.

There was a mid-afternoon break and an older friend and I decided to go for a walk together. Others did the same, little mini-groups breaking up into conversational units and toddling off. The day was glorious and we had about 45 minutes to kill before the next discussion.

Friend and I explored an old railway bed trail and hit one of those moments - does this trail go round in a circle and then, like a fool, immediately answer the question for yourself - of course it does!

The trail went on and on and on. No turnoff, no circling. One continuous long straight line. My chief concern was Ansa, the wonder-dog, who is aging and arthritic. My next concern was we did not bring our cellphones or money or water or even phone numbers of people who were at the event or the host herself. On and on we trudged.

Finally we hit a side-road off the trail, a steep winding hill. By that point we were knackered. Yes, we're each of us training for the Tely 10 but did NOT expect to be plunged into Iron Women status in week 1 of training with 8 more weeks to go.

At long last we hit the main road, puffing after the long climb. I calculated we were about 5 miles from the house. Ansa had slowed dramatically. Admiring something off in the distance, Friend tripped and fell. Planked herself on the shoulder of the road would be more like it. We've no sidewalks in Newfoundland - did I tell you that already? Tough people don't need 'em. NOT!

So I pick her up, dust her off, give her my sweaty bandana as a bandage for her bleeding hand and we stumble on. Finally we see a man checking underneath his jeep on the shoulder ahead of us. We explain the situation and he immediately herds us into his vehicle, all consideration for elder-dog, he even offers to lift her in.

Turns out he's an engineer in from Calgary for a short term contract and between all of us we find the house where a search party had just been formed and were all lined up on the driveway, ready to scatter in several directions. Some started to cry when they saw us, they were so upset and figured we'd had a dreadful catastrophe befall us. They had called our mobiles and noticed our purses, left on the floor of the hall, ringing back at them in merriment. Panic then ensued. We were missing nearly 3 hours and husband of Friend calculated we had covered 10 miles of rough, rugged terrain.

All of us agreed it was one mighty story for the grandchildren.

I was the after dinner speaker and I spoke on the metaphorical nature of our walk - no side-roads, no twists and turns. The ocean on one side of us, brush and forest on the other. To leave the trail would have been rushing into unknown madness.

We had to persist. Right to the end. Much like when we nurture a dream, a vision, a goal.

And the spike?

It symbolises the strength and survival residing in all of us.

20 comments:

  1. Excellent story and analogy. Glad you were rescued and all is well.

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  2. I've just got to ask, did it not occur to you to turn around and go back the way you came? If you only had a 45 min break it would have been prudent to turn around after 20 minutes or so and head back the way you came. Just wondering why you didn't do that.

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  3. Glad you were found and all ended safely.

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  4. Anon:

    Of course it did but the idiocy comes of "doing a loop" and the back end of the loop will be short and take us right up to the house. Our host had mentioned a great loop. Nowhere near where we were as it turned out AND was in the opposite direction to boot.

    Hindsight.

    Always brilliant.

    XO
    WWW

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  5. Thanks GM, you saw my bits on FB about this, I'm sure :)

    XO
    WWW

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  6. Now I've got the song from Gilligan's Island running through my head.....'on a three hour cruise..'

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  7. This is a bit more adventuresome than I like - I could feel myself tensing up as the story went on. I am glad you got home safely and were okay in the end. As I get older I am working harder to avoid these "too close for comfort" adventures.

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  8. Glad it is over
    and my heart beating rapidly
    as I read your sharing
    and glad you got home safely.
    Take care...
    I no longer wander far
    even on a glorius day :)

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  9. Ah..You never stop having adventures.
    We have some spikes from the railway that used to run by here. That was in the cane-growing days.

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  10. Bravo! What a story for the grand children!

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  11. Sharon:

    Me too. It was totally unexpected and you know when you get far enough that you can't turn back and the future is unknown? I hate that feeling!

    XO
    WWW

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  12. OWJ:

    I've learned my lesson to go equipped even for a short walk :)

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Hattie:

    Oh you had our railroads too, I mourn the loss of them here and everywhere.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Ramana:

    I'd prefer a safer story but hell, geezer grandmas on the go has a nice ring to it.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Quite an adventure ..... though it could have gone pear shaped.
    You have stamina just like the spike!
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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  16. And now you want a pat on the back for being . . .what? Foolish, adventurous, brave, inconsiderate, a pair of eejits?

    I am glad it worked out well and a kind stranger picked you up. That poor dog. :-)

    Still, there’s the silver lining: you getting yourself a talk off the back of it.
    Congratulations.

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  17. MM:

    Yes, very easily, we have been told. And told. And told.

    :)

    XO
    WWW

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  18. Friko:
    And my poor friend, bruises changing colours daily.

    Ansa was a real worry, just about paralyzed the following day, I haven't allowed her off leash as she loves to run and could do more damage :(

    Today is a good day and my friend is feeling loads better too.

    XO
    WWW

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