Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.
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Location: Oregon

The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lost in Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon in Northern CA has to be one of the best places to have a writer's conference. Great food. Gorgeous scenery. And hundreds of other writers who delight in even the smallest adventure.

After my workshops today, I wandered away from camp and hiked through the towers of sequoia trees until my path petered out. Below me was a stream, and on the other side were two wide paths leading, of course, to mysterious new places. So I climbed down and crossed the water on a sliver of a log.

There was a local hiker on the other side so I asked her how to get back to camp. She told me it was easy. Go left and stay on the lower path until I found the foot bridge. Cross it, and I'd be back.

But the lower path didn't stay low. It climbed higher and higher until I was almost at the top of the steep hill. I looked for a side trail that would lead me back down to the river, but never saw one under the thick brush and leaves.

The path curved, and as I hiked around it, I saw a camo-dressed guy chopping wood. He ignored me as I stepped closer, smiled, and stepped closer again. "How do I get across the river?"

He refused to meet my eye, grunting back at me instead. "The bridge is out."

"Okay..." I started to turn. "Is there, like, another bridge that maybe isn't so out?"

He swung his ax into the log, pointed toward the trees, and said something about there being a chain and a bridge that way. Good enough.

Even though his directions were a little sketchy, I found the narrow bridge and discovered that the trail back to camp was blocked on the other side--a nice detail my ax-wielding friend might have mentioned.

I hiked up a new hill, away from the trail, and followed worn railroad tracks toward what I thought would be the camp. Instead I found a couple more people...and they took pity on me. The guy pointed toward a meadow and listed off the bridges I needed to cross and hills I needed to climb to get back. Thankfully, he was right, and an hour or so after I started my short hike, I walked back into camp.

I'm thinking that before I tackle Mt. Hermon's wilderness again, I may just get directions prior to my departure. Or maybe I'll take my cell with me so I can call for a little back-up. Or maybe I'll get really smart and take a friend.

After I told someone how I'd gotten lost on the mountain, she said it sounded like fun and asked if she could go hiking with me tomorrow. Only a writer would understand....


Anonymous Mary Ann said...

You crazy women. We don't want to hear a story about a lost mother/writer in the woods on the tv. Sounds like something I would have done :-)

3:17 AM  
Blogger Darelina said...

Sounds like a lot of fun, honestly!

8:37 AM  

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