Effing Goat Trail

A week ago Sunday we went to Dillon Creek for kayaking. Just kidding. Check the link: those pictures blow my mind. I didn’t even know you could do stuff like that at Dillon Creek. We were around the campground. Here’s a link to the Forest Service website. And could someone help the Forest Service, please? That website could use a little pretty-ing up.

We went to Dillon Creek for Book Club. The book was A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous. Mom must have missed my post about how I didn’t want to read any heavy books in August and insisted I read it for book club. Turns out it’s fantastic. Hard to put down. Lots of food for thought and discussion. Really excellent not just as a book but as a piece of history.

But that’s not what this story is about.

We got there early and we decided to check out this swimming hole we’d heard about. We parked in the day use area and as we pulled in, we ran into Martha who’s married to Sonny, who’s a cousin. Or something like that. You get the idea.

Martha was also going to the swimming hole and was kind enough to point out the trail to us and off we went. As soon as I took my first step, I was concerned because I was wearing these clodhopper shoes I use for Orleans. This isn’t a good link because we weren’t there camping, we were at a big family gathering, some visiting like us and many who live there.

(ASIDE: omigod. I just put “Orleans, California” into a search engine so I could give a link to Orleans for the 3 people who might chance by this site and not know what I’m talking about and this was the first link that came up: American Singles. Classic! The second link is a splog that has to do with collection agencies. We need to improve Orleans search rankings.)

I decided not to take the trail but Martha said, “Oh, I’m sure it looks a lot harder than it is.” So I pressed on. But not because I believed her, but because she’s a relative and I knew if I wussed out that the entire town would know about it before the sun went down and for the next 40 years I would have to hear tales of Pam, the big fat ch-ch-chicken who couldn’t do the trail down to the swimming hole at Dillon Creek.

Except that the “trail” was a goat path scratched out of a vertical mountainside and covered with poison oak and a few wisps of tree root that you could hang onto for dear life as you slid down the rocks and dirt.

We were about two thirds of the way down when a friendly grey haired guy holding a beer and watching us slide down the mountain said, “That’s not the trail.”

Well, no shit. What are we going to do at that point? When we finally hit bottom you could see the actual trail, a smooth, clear path back up to the campground.

“A freeway!” Martha exclaimed when she saw it. Then she said she’d never been to that swimming hole before.

I got a scratch of poison oak on one leg and a mosquito sized patch on my foot plus a couple of dots here and there.

Lesson learned: don’t let Martha point out the trail.

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