Here's the Scoop: November 7, 2012
Through Rose-Colored Glasses
Anyone who has ever visited the Rocky Mountains knows that the high altitude takes a bit of adjustment. The mountains are breathtaking — in more ways than one.
During a recent trip to that area, we were excited to try some hiking in this rarified environment. We hike quite a bit, so it wasn’t like we were new to the sport. Still, hiking in unfamiliar terrain presented a different set of challenges.
Stocked with plenty of provisions, we soon found a trail that suited our tastes for our first day in the woods. Despite the early November date, the weather was mild and the woods were very pleasant.
The hiking was great — until we took a water break on the way back and my wife realized she had left her prescription sunglasses behind when we stopped for lunch. A few general curse words were uttered. But, like trees falling in the woods, we were the only ones to hear them, so they didn’t really make much of a sound.
We debated if there was enough daylight to backtrack and look for the glasses or if we should wait until the following day. Finally, we decided there was ample time to retrace our steps that afternoon.
They must be there
We were confident that we’d find the glasses, too. After all, we’d only passed one pair of hikers on our return and it was unlikely they would have their eyes on these prescription glasses.
Shaking off our initial annoyance over the situation, we soon arrived back at the spot where we had lunch. Before we even started looking for the glasses, a voice called out from the woods, “Are you looking for a pair of glasses?”
I was momentarily stunned by this question. I knew the answer, but I had no idea who was asking. I took a few steps and there appeared, rather magically, a lady hiker (hike-ette?) whom I’d never seen before, but who knew what we were after.
She quickly solved the mystery by explaining that she came from the other direction and had encountered the hikers we’d passed, right after they had found the sunglasses. They had discussed leaving the glasses behind or leaving them at the opposite trailhead. The hikers chose Option 2 and asked the female hiker to relay this message, should we show up.
I’m not sure what the odds of this happening were, but they must have been better than I would have thought. We had a “ray” of hope about getting the sunglasses back. We finally made our way back to the car and proceeded a few miles to the “trailhead not taken.”
We rummaged around the designated area, but our initial excitement quickly turned to disappointment when we discovered a few squirrel droppings, but no sunglasses. Just as we were about to leave, I spotted a note tacked up on the trail map kiosk. Cleverly hung with Band-Aids, the memo asked the owner of the sunglasses to call and claim the prize.
The Treasure Hunt was heating up. We might get the glasses back!
We left a message stating that my wife was indeed the owner of the glasses and The Finder agreed to drop them off that night at the place we were staying. We later marveled at the chances of getting the glasses back in this manner.
“Good thing the fellow who found them wasn’t a shady character,” we agreed.
— Brian Sweeney