Beyond the Western
A Matter of Perspective
Scott A. Gese

Image source: Mariscogallegopro/Pixabay

Everyone looks at life from a slightly different perspective. Some see the fun and joy in life while others may see only danger and despair. It’s a matter of perspective.

Beyond the Western

Larry and Tom had planned a long day hike on the Grand Way Trail.

The two were friends, but they were not two of a kind.

Larry was the more extroverted of the two. He didn’t put too much planning into the things he did. He loved the idea of being surprised at whatever might be just around the corner. To him, life was a joy.

Tom on the other hand was more introverted. He tended to over plan. He didn’t like surprises and worried more than necessary. Especially if things didn’t go just so. He took a more negative view of life.

They both liked to hike. Hiking the Grand Way Trail was not their first venture into the woods together, but it could be their last.

Larry didn’t want to deal with a car. He wanted to catch a ride with a friend who was going past the trail head. The timing would work out perfectly. He would drop them off early and pick them up that evening on his way back to town.

Tom didn’t want to count on Larry’s friend to be there at the end of the day and was afraid of being stranded. He wanted to take his car just in case something unforeseen happened and they needed to come back early.

Tom was adamant about it and finally won out. They took his car and ended up having to pay a fee to park. Tom had forgotten about that.

Once they had unloaded their gear, Tom grew concerned about the car being vandalized.

He didn’t like the idea of leaving it alone and unattended, but he was the one who wanted to take a car, so now he had no choice. He had to leave it.

The trail was well groomed. It traversed through the woods along the bank of a small river. As they walked, Tom kept mentioning his car. He couldn’t get it off his mind.

The two soon came to a fork in the trail. According to the map, the main trail kept to the river. The other climbed to a high meadow, ran along a high ridge and then meandered back to the main trail one mile ahead.

Larry wanted to take the high trail. Tom wanted to stick to the main trail they were on.

Tom thought the side trail looked steep and he wasn’t sure where it went once it reached the meadow. He felt better about sticking with a sure thing. After all, that was the plan.

After some deliberation, they decided to part company and meet up again where the two trails re-converged.

Larry took the high trail. It wound its way through a thick stand of timber that opened up to a beautiful meadow full of tall grass and colorful wild flowers. From the ridge he took photo’s of the grand vista. Miles of forest land with four majestic sun drenched snow-capped mountains shining brightly in the distance. He also saw a black bear with two cubs walk across the meadow. He kept still as he watched them disappear out of sight.

The high trail was well worth the trip up the hill.

Tom kept to the well used river trail. He had his taser out and picked up a big stick as he walked along. He hoped he wouldn’t see a bear or a cougar. He kept his eyes open and never took them from the trail ahead as he swiftly walked along.

He reached the meeting point in record time. Now he had to sit and wait for Larry. He kept his taser out just in case and hoped Larry hadn’t already arrived and gone on without him.

When Larry finally did show up, Tom was relieved and glad to see he hadn’t gotten lost.

They came to a waterfall. A short trail led hikers behind the falls. Larry was all for taking it. He had never been behind a waterfall before. It would be a great experience.

Tom wanted no part of it. The trail was narrow and looked slippery. There wasn’t much room behind the falls and if he wasn’t careful he could slip and end up in the river. He would have to hike the rest of the way in wet clothes.

Tom decided to sit on a stump and wait as Larry easily took the trail and experienced the thrill of walking behind a waterfall. He took his time and enjoyed the unique perspective.

When he finally came back to the main trail, Tom was acting a bit concerned. “You sure took your time. I thought maybe you got lost or something.” Larry shrugged off the comment and filled him in on what he had missed.

As they walked on they came across a couple who were camping just off the trail. Larry struck up a conversation with them and they in turn invited the two to join them for a cup of coffee.

The couple seemed nice enough and Larry was all for it, but

Tom was concerned. He didn’t know these people and was leery about drinking their coffee.

He declined the coffee and reluctantly took a seat by the fire and let Larry do all the talking.

After the coffee, they headed back toward the trail head. Tom was concerned about losing daylight before they got to the car. Larry didn’t concern himself with such thoughts. He was enjoying the hike.

When they finally reached the car, Tom was relieved, it was still light out and the car hadn’t been touched.

Once home, Larry couldn’t stop talking about what a great time he had and how he was ready to go back and do it again.

Tom on the other hand thought it was a boring trip and doubted he would ever return.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.