There is No Trail

My hiking experience usually  goes like this: I wake up in the morning and decide that it would be a great day to walk somewhere.  I love  doing things like that, completely last minute.  So you would think that I would be flexible about it,  be zen , go with the flow.

Not.  At. All.

I need a GPS everywhere I go.  I need my maps, directions, and even then I am known to call my friends to ask them if that place that I know is still where I think it is.  I never hike alone, always with Brian, so I don’t have to pay attention and just follow him everywhere.

This morning I decided to go for a hike, alone somewhere.  So I downloaded an app that has trail maps and I asked 4 people where to go, and how to get there, and if there were arrows along the way.

Apparently, the Royal Arches trail at Chautauqua was IT.  So off I went!

What a beautiful, well planned day 🙂

But the trail was closed.

So I picked a random trail (well, there was only one other option which made me very happy because you see, there was no way to get lost with only one trail).

But then it looked like this.


What a sucky turn of my day.

Do you see a trail?  Those stairs on the left led to boulders, the path on the right led nowhere. I turned around in a circle and was about to give up when I met a very relaxed hiker who told me with a great laugh: “There is no trail!  You just sort off hike through the trees, you just go wherever”.

‘Scuse me?

I need maps, and GPS (mine was useless by then), and arrows.  I need tracks.  I need the beaten path.  But there was no path.  I had to make mine.  And then I realized the connection to what I am trying to do with my business — how the path I am trying to get on doesn’t really exist.  Fine Art portrait artists have their work hanging in galleries.  Portrait photographers shoot portraits for clients.  I want to create gallery type, artistic portraits for clients, which is something that is really not done, not often at least.  There is no trail for this.  It brought me back to one of my first blogs.

So I started climbing, and the discomfort of not knowing where I was heading turned into the exhilaration of letting myself be carried by my instincts and be guided by what felt right and not by what someone had drawn on a sign.  There is no arrow nor GPS, no one to hold my hand, and I realized today that this should free me from any expectation of what’s right or wrong.  I can create my own path between the trees!

I was all proud of myself, hiking away, basking in my great discovery and feeling super-wise with my new found life lesson when I hit a wall.

IMG_2197 That picture was taken from some distance, but trust me when I tell you: it was a wall. And the only way to get to the other side of this wall was to be a pro climber,  a spider, or maybe a goat.  Since I am none of those, I turned around and retraced my random steps and found some cool places in the process.

There was a wall, so what?  There is always a wall somewhere!  I will decide later on if I want to work hard to find a way around, or maybe go on a different trail, or maybe just forget about it.  The wall is unimportant, it just gives way to more fun choices along the path, or lack thereof.

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Annabelle Denmark

Annabelle is a French born Fine Art and Wedding Photographer based in Denver, Colorado,

2 thoughts on “There is No Trail”

  1. Oh wow! What a wonder day! Your story reminded me of Dory in Finding Nemo. Just keep swimming! The only exception is that in the movie, all of the fish got results when they swam together. You are doing your own Dory thing and creating your own adventure. What a scary, exhilarating feeling! But, I don’t know of another person that would be any better at it than you!

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