A North Idaho Lookout Elopement

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Last September we had it all planned.

I had made a schedule for everyone, researched, checked google maps three (possibly four times) all to make sure that we would all arrive at the same spot, at the same with ample amount of time to hike into the lookout and have time all before we had to hike back so we wernt’t walking in the dark.

So I drove up Sunday where we had all planned to meet at the parking lot at 12. After stopping to grab lunch and gas up the car, according to my Google maps it said I’d be 5-10 minutes late, not bad. Following the google instructions it took me down a road that is in no way maintained, taking my new RAV4 on an Indiana Jones excursion. When I finally made it down this ridiculous road I was now a solid hour late, and I started to panic. I had been the one begging everyone to be on time. This is what we like to call karma.

Google then tells me now (now when I’m good and far away for any sort of service) to turn left. This road it want’s me to turn on looked better then what I had just gotten off of so that’s what I did...I turned left.
2-minutes into me turning left Google cheerfully announces that I’ve made my destination. My destination being...Google had brought me to a river, and across that river is the mountain where the Lookout is...so good job Google yeah you got me “there” but really, you didn’t! This is why you need to check to google maps FIVE times, and print out the instructions and map like we used to do with Map Quest (does anyone else remember Map Quest? Yeah those were the good ol’ days!)

So up and down my RAV4 went on this out of service road as I tried to figure out how on I’m gonna get there. Miracle by miracle, on one of my up and downs, I ended up going down enough and finding the road number I’d jotted down after calling the ranger a week ago who had told me to pop it into Google and it be straight forward!!!! Yeah, that ranger LIED.

So at about 2.5 hours late and I’m finally heading in the right direction when the florists drives towards me, rolls her window down and asks “do you have jumper cables?!” Yeah, I was showing up 2.5 hours late and we needed to jump the event planners car! So 3-hours behind schedule with all cars fixed and all the vendors there, we quickly grabbed our packs and we were on the trail. A 3-mile hike in which the ranger had said is straight forward and simple, which she must have meant “its straight UP the dang mountain, so you better do some mountainer training before you go on that thing”. Let’s just say, Heather got a wake up call and realized she needs to be working out more often because my gluteus grew vocal cords in those 3-miles in started screaming obscenities at me!

But let me end this long drawn out story on a good note. When all of us came over the ridge we knew all of those struggles and mishaps were 110% worth it! In the presence of 360 views of the Bitterroot Wilderness we made magic happen. I was once again reminded how beautiful my state is (really, I’m not going to stop yelling from the roof tops how magical Idaho is) and how truly #communityovercompetition is the most amazing thing.

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