Sign Reading 101

It’s often all too easy to look back on the dumb things I’ve done in my past and find some sort of viable rationale for why I did them.  But in the case of when I was duped by a trail junction sign in Texas, I could only look back with confusion – it didn’t make sense that I could look at something as simple as a sign with arrows and arrive at a conclusion so pathetically misguided as to be void of any reason whatsoever.

(To make the long story short, I set out to hike up the tallest mountain in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, but due to misreading the trail junction sign, I hiked up the wrong mountain.)

I am by no means perfect, but I’d like to think I’m at least a little better than a complete idiot, so I went back to Guadalupe Peak to make peace with my lapse of brain function.  Who knows?  – maybe the sign really was confusing.  Would it allow me to vindicate myself?

This is what I saw, much I like I remember it:


I stared at it for a little while, thinking back to the thought process that led me down the path to nowhere.   Even if I had accidentally chosen the wrong destination, all three point towards the same trail.  The only one that didn’t was “Tejas,” which was inexplicably the one I chose.

What a normal person would do.

But this is clearly not how I thought.  No… my thought process was a little different, I recalled…

What I did.

Rather than interpreting the arrows as indications of which direction to walk, I foolishly interpreted the arrows as a flowchart – that is to say, where my eyes should follow.  To me, the arrow for “Guadalupe Peak” didn’t point to a trail, it pointed to the arrow directly above it within the sign itself – the Tejas trail arrow pointing to the right.  In fact, all arrows pointed to the Tejas rightward arrow, so I figured if I went right, I couldn’t lose.  Right?  Because, you know, “Tejas” sounds legit.  I mean, that’s the state for which Guadalupe Peak is the high point.  Makes sense to me.  And away I went.

I want to blame this lunacy on the rush of crunch time, but shameless excuses can never fix the past.  There was but one solution: hike up Guadalupe Peak for reals this time.  Which, due to the encouragement of my companion albeit against better judgement (because we started up at 8:00pm), we did.  And we conquered.

However, because we started at sunset, it was dark for the entire hike and I don’t have any pictures – only the silhouette of a tree crying out in agony.


About Doctor Quack

Just another bonehead with an internet connection.
This entry was posted in Autobiography, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sign Reading 101

  1. Getting lost on a trail can be half the fun – as long as you find your way back down. I remember coming down from a loop trail that I obviously made look like a toddler’s drawing because an old couple commented on my lack of loop-hiking skills upon my return. They ‘noticed’ that I got lost because to me the trail went in a few directions. Happy travels!

  2. Pink Ninjabi says:

    You’re hilarious… Excellent post as always.. it definitely reminds me of the detours I have taken in life, only to end up where I belong… 😀

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