Off the Beaten Path

Place one foot in front of the other. If you trip, pick yourself up, brush off the dirt and repeat.

That’s what hiking and life seem to have in common. A trusted trail map or a five-year plan doesn’t always show us the fallen trees or obstacles in our way. Do we slog through the mud, cross the stream or turn around and head back to the car when the trail gets rough?

Our two grown children – who spent most of their childhood visiting national parks with us – amaze me with their fortitude, flexibility and resilience. I learn so much from them. They have never complained about going off the beaten path even if that meant waiting until nightfall because the black bear wouldn’t move off our trail. It became a running joke in our family that it wasn’t a Weiss vacation unless we changed at least one flat tire or took yet another wrong turn in the wilderness.

That fearlessness and willingness to venture into the unknown is what all of us need right now to find our way in a topsy-turvy world. I for one will continue hiking quiet trails (at a social distance) and finding new ways to navigate the changing terrain in what has become a new normal.

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