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Gathering my thoughts of what my “disappointment lecture” to the Lost Boys is going to include, I continue down the final trail in hopes to meet up with Janessa. This is the only trail we haven’t ventured down looking for them.
Up ahead, to add to my stress level, I see a split in the trail, “Oh no! Which way would she have gone?” Once I got little closer I noticed something on the ground that made me smile and relax a little.
Janessa had used a few sticks to create an arrow pointing to the right. This was one of my proud parent moments, the ones where you realize that some of the lessons stuck and came in handy later on in life.
I turned right and continued walking, then I saw a gentleman walking towards me with his dog on his way back to the parking lot. Once he saw me he spoke up, “Your daughter wanted me to let you know you are on the right trail. She is just ahead chasing down the Lost Boys. You’re on the right track!” It turned out the boys had gone this way with the intention of checking out a small cove that had a waterfall. It was then when I heard a sound that could only come from a mom, “AIDEN!”
Later, Janessa told me that when she let this one out of her lungs all three boys froze in their tracks and ducked their heads knowing they were in for it.
After a panicked hour we finally tracked them down. They spotted a small waterfall feeding into the lake. They said it looked a lot closer than it actually was. This was my moment, I started my lecture of why they shouldn’t take off like that. It also gave Janessa and I the opportunity to teach them a few tricks if they were ever to get truly lost again.
On our way back down the trail to the trailhead, I showed the boys what Janessa had done with the sticks. If it stuck with her maybe it will stick with them too! Mark your trail. They never repeated that experience again, at least on this trip.
Late in the afternoon once Janessa and I had rested from our hike, which was easily three times longer than the boys, we muster up the energy to walk out on the Mogollon Rim viewing area to experience the wonderful view and sheer drop to the valley below. I was a little uneasy when they got so close to the edge but as you can see in the pictures they still had the fear in them and were careful. Aiden’s friends took turns passing the phone around to check in with their parents and send a few pictures while we had cell service.
Returning to camp from the Rim, the tent and all the paraphernalia was packed back up in Janessa’s truck. This was a little more difficult seeing as how the boys didn’t want to leave just yet. We said our sad goodbyes and talked of the good times we had and will have next weekend when some will return. Then off they went, back down the mountain to their homes and school tomorrow morning.
“I miss them already, Jagger, and they just left.” Jagger dropped his head to the floor and let out a deep breath. I’m not sure if this was out of agreement or exhaustion.
It was so quiet at camp, no laughing or joyful noises. The other camps had all packed up and left too. Jagger and I were left alone in the quiet of the forest and watching the Sun goes down on another weekend of fun.
There’s something about the emptiness when family and friends leave you. At least we have next weekend to look forward to this time. Janessa will be bringing Aiden and his little brother Seth back to visit. I enjoy being part of their life adventure and making these special memories. I’m pretty sure they will never forget these trips!
More Photos: Mogollon Rim – Aspen Campground