This hiking trail is a bit difficult to find. It’s listed in some trail guides but it’s mainly used by locals. And rock climbers are always in the area although I’m not sure many of them use the trail itself. I’ve been up the trail three times for fun and once for no fun at all when our dog got stuck. This past weekend my husband took three friends up there. I was careful not to give them my opinion of the trail beforehand as I didn’t want to color the experience for them.
Many locals love that trail, my son included. In spite of the steepness, it’s normally well worth the hike for the views from the top of the trail, which are beautiful.
Of the friends who went with my husband, one got sick and had to turn back. One walked that friend out of the woods and then decided to wait at the base of the chute, which is the last three hundred feet or so of the trail. My husband and our friend Dan went all the way to the top. This was more challenging than normal because there has been a slide down the chute.
So yes, it’s a beautiful hike. Yes, it’s typically difficult, especially the chute. But those aren’t the reasons why I haven’t been up that trail for several years.
Those who know me personally know that I’m not a superstitious type. Okay, I might be a little superstitious about writing, but mostly I’m a pretty pragmatic person. I don’t get scared often. But Lookout Point just creeps me out big time.
I’ve never had an emotional reaction to a place like this and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it. But every single time I’ve gone up that trail, I have had a strong thought in my brain telling me I’m not supposed to be there. Have you ever had a moment when your neck hairs stand up and every instinct is telling you that you’ve just made a big mistake? That’s me on that trail.
It’s not the difficulty level because I’ve been up it before. Granted, I doubt I could make it up there now. I’ve done it before and even on the somewhat easier lower portion of the trail, I’m still scared of it.
When I wrote This Deep Panic and was trying to imagine the fear characters would feel out in the woods, alone and vulnerable, I dipped into my feelings about this trail. So in a way, the trail helped me with writing.
I strongly believe I am not supposed to be on that trail. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s honest.
Now that there has been a slide in the chute, I have an excuse to say no if anyone invites me to go up Lookout. I won’t have to admit that the place scares me. It’s such a weird thing because, if you know me, I absolutely love the woods. The forest is my home space.
Just not that tiny piece of forest. That trail up Lookout? It doesn’t want me there for some reason, and I plan on listening and honoring that. Even if it does make me sound a little loopy.
I certainly don’t need to go back up it in order to write more scary scenes. My memory will work just fine.