When a Goal Is Not the Goal
With recent rains easing the drought, and reports of more salmon spotted in their Marin County spawning grounds this season, I just knew my family would see salmon on our post-storm, sunny-but-cold winter outing.
Our plan: Hike down a ridge trail into Muir Woods and watch for salmon swimming in Redwood Creek.
Reality: The freeway offramp for Muir Woods was closed due to flooding.
“What now?” my husband asked.
“We keep driving north and look for salmon at Lagunitas Creek. Friends saw them there a week ago,” I said with confidence.
We got our day pass for Samuel P. Taylor State Park and set off on our creek side hike. We stopped at likely spots where we might see the shadow-like figure of a swimming salmon.
“Maybe we need to stay quiet and watch for a long time, like fishermen do,” I said. None of us were able to be still for very long in the cold, but we watched quietly at several promising viewing spots.
I figured this would be our easy day to spot salmon in the creek, but we didn’t. I’d seen three salmon here during one of the worst drought years, and here we were in a good year and we didn’t see any. Not one.
Did that ruin our outing? It did not.
The overriding goal was not to see salmon. The true goal was to get up, get out, and walk along a beautiful trail somewhere. And that’s what we did.
Not only did we enjoy our walk along a trail that hugs the edge of Lagunitas Creek, but we did our return route along a forest path we hadn’t been on before. That was above and beyond the goals we’d originally set for that day.
As we hear in so many contexts, true meaning lies in our journey, not so much in the destination. Most endeavors stray from the original plan. Learning to appreciate the paths we inadvertently end up on makes life much more enjoyable.
Keep putting one foot forward!
This week’s Hike Notes, Ox Trail-Samuel P. Taylor State Park, takes hikers along a moss and fern-lined forest path that runs parallel to Lagunitas Creek along a high ridge.
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Hike Notes 149: Ox Trail-Samuel P. Taylor State Park
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