A Wrong Turn Makes History
What do all of the following items have in common?
Will Farrell’s Land of the Lost,
The Lost Boys of Peter Pan Fame,
Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour Lost,
The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, and
The Desert Explorers of Rincon West?
Correct! All share the distinction of “Lost.” Wednesday, February 4, 2015 was the day; the Richard Genser Starr Pass Trail was the destination; and the hike leaders shall remain anonymous. The sunny, cacti-studded trail welcomed the (add number here) hikers who embraced the day, the companionship, and the hike. What had been scheduled for 2.97 miles more than doubled with a “detour” of sorts for an additional 3 miles for nearly half of the hikers. One hiker’s electronic mileage log showed 7.7 miles walked and 17,000 plus steps recorded. Needless to say, it was an historic hike for the Wednesday group.
A missed intersection and repeated promises of “The parking lot is just around this hill and then home” led half of the group to a scenic tour of a new home under construction and established homes in the Starr Pass development. Ironically, the group emerged from the construction at the intersection of Lost Mesa and Lost Starr Drive. Friendly residents offered directions to the parking lot while yet another resident expressed concern about the older members of the group.
Meanwhile, varying energy levels increased the distance among the hikers headed for rendezvous, rides, and reunions at the Trailhead. Strings of bedrraggled hikers, some sporting trekking poles and backpacks, threaded their way through quiet streets of upscale homes. Bill, a Marriott Starr Pass Resort employee, encountered three of the hikers and offered a golf cart ride to the Trailhead Parking Lot. He was gratefully dubbed “Bill, Head of the Marriott Search and Rescue Squad” by the trio of hikers.
Lighthearted comments from hikers include, “This was actually a test to weed out the weak walkers from the hardy souls who earned the right to be in the group.” First-timers thought this might be the hike to Sedona scheduled for March beginning now. They were hoping for a supply wagon to meet up with the group along the way. Another newcomer suggested that this was the Texan version of the Arizona hike—bigger, wider, and longer than anything a local could imagine. One hiker had a quick thought of dialing the realtor’s number from a sign planted in a front yard—a quick tour and a lift to the parking lot was the ulterior motive.
While the incident seems like a pencil mark in the annals of the Hiking Club, the notoriety of the “misplaced” hikers is now a part of local history. Upon entering the Catalina Barbeque and Sports Bar, the small group of “found” hikers were greeted compassionately by the hostess with, “We heard you were the Lost Hikers.” The group was seated and quickly served tall glasses of ice water, which were frequently re-filled.
As the morning stretched into afternoon and the group was refueled in food and spirit, apprehension was replaced with tired relaxation. In the future oral (and now written) history of The Desert.
P.S. By DRC The “other” group also made a wrong turn that actually lessened the hike mileage, and met up with a water course to navigate around.
All in all it was a good day and we can all chalk it up to “it is what it is!” or was.