Two roads diverged in a wood, and we took the one less traveled by - literally

 

You've all read that poem by Robert Frost, right? He talks about a fork in the road and how he takes the side less traveled by. That fork is a symbol of the choices we have to make in life. Which path will you choose? Will it be the correct path?

I think we've all had to make a tough decision like this. And not knowing the outcome of our decision is terrifying. However, in this case, my hiking group literally took the road less traveled by and ended up doing a bit of rock scrambling. But we'll get there.

This week I hiked Devil's Lake State Park with five of my good friends. I think the last time I made it to this gorgeous park, the biggest in Wisconsin, was more than 10 years ago. It was time for a revisit.

We started off the hike with a trip up hundreds of steep stone steps. That's not an exaggeration - we all definitely got a butt workout in. The first stop on our path was Balanced Rock. I'm not sure what kind of glue they used to get that rock to balance, but it did not budge. 

I think this is kind of like when we make the right decision. It sticks. Maybe I'm reaching here and trying to make connections between life and rocks, but I like it.

Next we climbed a million more steps with the destination of Devil's Doorway in mind. Of course we had to stop for photo ops along the way. Between the six of us, we took a lot of pictures. I picked some of my favorites, pictured below.

We made it to Devil's Doorway, a remarkable quartzite rock formation. This was a path we took correctly. We never veered off, we stayed the course.

And between the sheer drops and beautiful views, I realized something about myself. Although not completely gone, my fear of heights has severely lessened. I guess this is something that happened because of the life decisions I have been making. I've wanted to do more adventurous things and push my boundaries. I've been more bould. (Pun intended.)

After Devil's Doorway is when the trouble started. Somehow, our path lead to a non-existent path. We traipsed through the woods, along logs and over rocks. There was some disagreement - should we keep going? Should we go back? And with only the road in site very far away from us, we took the path less traveled. Fortunately, we made it, as evidenced by the blog post.

And to be honest, I enjoyed taking a path that wasn't necessarily a path. I felt like a true blue naturalist. Or like Bear Grylls. Minus eating something disgusting to stay alive.

We ended our hike along the Grotto Trail, a short, flat path back to our cars. Along the way, I admired all the rocks and trees and creatures. I thought about which road I want to take in life next. Will it be clear like our path up to Balanced Rock? Or will it be wooded and lush with trees like our path back to civilization. And will it matter which I take if they both sound ok? 

I'm not sure where life will take me next. But in the meantime, I have friends who will hike along with me. And that has made all the difference.

 

*Photos by Jeci Casperson, Sara Kamoske, Diana Kraus, Maggie McGwin and myself*