Trail Fails

Historically, I have never been the one who is known for her athletic ability, nor have I ever been loved for my adventurous outdoorsmen spirit. Because I do not possess either of those. Never in my life have I been asked, “Hey, want to snowshoe across Siberia with me this winter?” (Who fucking does that anyway?)

Despite this, I have really been wanting to get into walking local trails for exercise. Well, if we are being completely honest, I just really want to marvel at the beauty of nature while I sit my fat ass on a comfortable rock. Doing this while eating something, like a dripping slice of watermelon heaven would really just be the cherry on top.

Because getting anyone I know to just sit in nature with me, without sounding like a total lazy loser, is a hard sell, I have been trying to be adventurous by engaging in hiking.

Well, I can most assuredly say that hiking don’t want my fat ass. Hiking wants me to just stay at home with my Halo Top ice cream and Netflix. Hiking does not play.

I’m going to detail three times I failed on the trails recently. Really, this could also qualify as a “This Is Why I’m Fat” post, because almost anyone would have given up after the first failed attempt. So, I hope the Trail Gods are listening. Ya’ll have some work to do…

A week or so ago (I’m a teacher on summer break, so I have no idea what day it is), a friend and I went on a much-needed girl getaway to the Point Reyes Seashore in California.

I stand or crouch behind all of my friends in pictures to appear smaller!
It was gorgeous, but strenuous. We did a lot of walking, trailing, and huffing and puffing.

1. The Stair Climb of Doom

Our first order of business was almost dying on the stairs to and from the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The climb is equivalent to

30 flights, ya’ll. 

I just thought I’d reiterate in case you missed it the first time.

It’s like the freaking Wall of China!
I’m 1000% sure my friend didn’t let on to that fact beforehand, because she knew for certain that it’d be a hard pass from me.

Despite the fact that an elderly man passed me on the hike up the stairs (do you see him in the picture?), and I had to stop at every rest point, it was actually totally worth the sweat-drenched pits and rat’s nest hair (it was so windy, that my phone almost blew away several times).

Fat Pro Tip: Stop to take a picture of literally anything every five minutes or so in order to catch your breath. They’ll have *no* idea!

2. Cataract Fall-Down-The-Hill-Trail

The day after almost needing to be airlifted from the lighthouse steps, we did some more adventurous trailing. I figured, “Why not? Might as well work on another bunion!”

The first few trails were quite easy, as there was no elevation or climb whatsoever. It was absolutely grand. Because we didn’t have to expend energy on moving our bodies up a steep hill, we had energy to climb trees and crawl into reproductions of Native American dwellings. I felt like an obese kid again (I was actually not obese as a child, strangely enough).

My legs were so sore from the previous day’s adventures, I almost didn’t make it out of that squat.
How I got up in that tree…I still don’t know!

It wasn’t until we thought it would be a good idea to try to find the Cataract Falls did we have problems. This is also the part in my story where I’m going to be putting All Trails on blast.

Not only was the following hike not “easy” as it was mistakenly rated, one of the lengths of the “loop” was not a trail at all. It was a grassy hill, and we almost broke our asses more times than I’d like to admit as we stepped/slid at a snail’s pace the whole entire way down. 

(I was also insanely afraid a mountain lion was going to come up behind me. Do you think that was irrational?)

Does this look like a trail to you??
This was a steep mother-effer!
When we made it to the bottom of the hill and the actual trail, we found that our pants, socks, and shoes were positively filled with foxtails and these terrible poky stickers that were absolute bitches to get off of our clothes and shoelaces.

We sat on the ground for a good 20 minutes, plucking shit out of everywhere!
If this wasn’t bad enough, when we got to our first trail marker, nowhere did it say “This way to the waterfall”, and the names of the available trails had nothing to do with the trail we thought we were on. We went the wrong way for 30 minutes before we got service on our phones and could see where we were on the trail.

When we finally found the waterfall, after a huge descent into what looked like middle earth, it was stunning and worth the trials we went through to get there. Well, it was a beautiful experience until I realized that’d I’d have to climb back to the car at some point.

Honestly, at one point during the hot, sweaty, and ugly hike back, I questioned how much it would cost for Search and Rescue to retrieve me from the trail.

It was so bad. And hard. 

The waterfall was a pretty anticlimactic affair, but the surrounding area was beautiful in an otherworldly-way.
3. Jones Creek Loop Trail AKA Call For Help

After being back home for a week or so, I decided that I would try hiking again (Why? Maybe I am a masochist, or I feel I deserve punishment for past transgressions?). So, the boyfriend and I looked up easy trails in the trees. Shade FTW!

We settled on the Jones Creek Loop Trail because it was rated as easy and only 1.5 miles.

We used the All Trails’ directions app, and it took us right to the trail head.

After a little trek that was almost all uphill, we came upon a sign. It said, “Jones Creek Loop”, and it had two arrows pointing to the right and to the left. Considering it was a loop, we figured it didn’t matter which way we went, as it would just bring us right back to where we started.

We seemed to be hiking quite awhile when the boyfriend remarked, “I think 1.5 miles seems longer when we are on a trail, because it’s not just a straight stretch?”

At least the scenery was gorgeous!

At this point, we were getting a little apprehensive. We also realized that our “loop” did not seem to be looping back to where we started whatsoever-we just kept heading further and further away.

We saw a man coming off of another trail (I will get to the myriad off shoots of unmarked trails in a minute…) and we asked him how to get back to the parking lot. He said we needed to go in the direction we were headed in, but for three or four more miles.


Somehow we got onto the wrong trail, but we had not taken any of the unmarked trails that veered off of the main trail.

At this point, my stress began causing my asthma to flare up, and I saw images of us, emaciated and half-eaten by mountain lions, in front of my eyes, like a mirage.

We decided to just keep walking and hope the guy didn’t know what he was talking about.

Ten minutes and almost all of our water later, we saw another guy coming off some other trail. I tried to stay calm when I asked him how we could get back to our car. While I was asking him, the boyfriend was off admiring some bark, pretending he didn’t belong to the sweaty girl who was in a near panic.

The guy said he was headed to the parking lot, and we could follow him.

A half mile later, we saw what looked like civilization and our spirits rose. We came upon a parking lot, but we quickly realized, stomachs sinking, it was not our parking lot.

As we were looking at the posted map and trying to look cool, like, “We meant that”, the guy waved us over.

He realized that he had led us to the wrong parking lot. He offered us a ride back to our car, three miles away.

We had somehow ended up on the 9 mile trail called the same damn thing as the 1.5 mile trail.

So, we ended that trail fail crammed into the cab of a tiny truck belonging to a very kind man. The whole way back to our car, I was trying not to reek of sweat and defeat.

We massively failed on the trails again only yesterday, and I was going to write about that fail too, but I have already gone on long enough.

The clouds were epic!

I will say, though, that the most recent fail is not entirely our fault. What in the actual eff is up with All Trails and their “easy” loop trails? Not only are they not easy, whoever is creating trails that feed off of the loop ought to be taken out back and given a stern talking to. In my mind, a loop is just that, A LOOP. Yet, every single trail we have tried is not really a loop, but a maze of deviating trails that go off in every fucking direction.

Really, it is no small miracle that more people do not get horribly lost in the woods on “easy” trails.


We are just utter idiots, and we need to take a “Trails For Dummies” course.

Tell me: Have you ever gotten lost on trails? Is it just me who can’t seem to find my way on “easy” trails? Help a fatty out! Let me know in the comments.




Author: fattymccupcakes

Just a thirty-something girl trying to love herself the way she is: fat, rolls, cellulite, and fabulousness.

106 thoughts on “Trail Fails”

  1. Is it ok to laugh at this post, because I might have laughed a little out loud, sorry!!
    I tried trail running for the first time ever on Saturday, I wanted to turn back after 0.5 miles because it was soooooo hard but had no idea how we had got to where we were so decided instead of getting lost in the wilderness to just continue with the group for 11 freakin miles… I hate trails too! AWESOME photos though!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We all get lost on the trails, it happens to the most experienced mountaineers! The important is to learn from it… And maybe get a better app/map? πŸ˜‰ I had a mega fail just this weekend when I forgot to add the ascent of our choosen trail and realised that 20K is easy in the Peak District where it’s only small hills but a whole other story in proper 2500 ft. tall mountains! We ended up changing our way and going down a valley instead of facing the climb of another rocky scramble… Oh, and I chose an epic scramble (a kind of easy rock-climbing) for the second day, forgetting the BF suffers from vertigo! Anyway… Be careful out there, but don’t give up. Hiking is highly rewarding!

    PS. I think I told you on Insta to download Viewfinder but the app I was talking about is actually called ViewRanger. It works on the GPS of your phone without network and you can download trail straight from the app or upload your own GPX trails. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You walked 20K?!?!? Dang, girl!!!! Your poor boyfriend!!! Didn’t you say you were hanging off a ledge over a small ravine?! 😱

      I was wondering about that! I was searching for Viewfinder and couldn’t find it. I will download that now!! 😜

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 20K is a short stroll for me… πŸ˜‰ I nearly killed him with a 35K hike a couple months ago. I didn’t write about it but he did if you want to have a look: Bless him, he really pushes himself on those hikes for me..

        Yeah, my bad…. Viewfinder is anotehr app! But ViewRanger is excellent and make the routes easy to follow. You’ll see rigth away if you walk off the path! It helped us a lot last weekend!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. We have been finding new hiking spots around here and I’m constantly getting lost. Thankfully I haven’t been hiking in remote areas and I always end up stumbling upon some unsuspecting family having a picnic. And, it seems like whenever you ask someone who’s in the know they always answer with, “it’s real easy” and that makes me feel even more stupid.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, I think trails were absolutely invented to lure unsuspecting “walkers” into getting up close and personal with nature. And there are hills out there! I would rather have to walk 30 miles (ok, maybe one or two) on a flat, level road than 10 yards on an “easy” trail with a “minimal” elevation. But you did get some great pictures I gotta tell you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This post is hysterical! Like you, I panic on hikes. Even when I’m going the right way, after a mile or two, I worry I’ll never find my way out and will be lost in the woods forever. When I plan a hike in a National Park, first I ask the park ranger exactly what the hike will be like every step of the way. If there are steep sections, I won’t go. I also assume if the ranger says the hike is easy, it will be moderate. If he says it’s moderate, I know it will be a killer and head to the mall.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey, want to snowshoe across Siberia with me this winter?”

    Please say no, please say no, please say no…

    And ” I just want to stand here and soak it all in for a few minutes ” is another way I sneak a rest on a hike

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Your writing is so funny and humble. Such an entertaining writer! (I mean, I laughed, but in commiseration because I’ve done the same thing before!!)
    I like hiking around here (NJ), and I also like to go off-trail…. Which is actually pretty dangerous. When I was dating my husband before we got married, I took him hiking and led him off trail … and we totally got lost. an hour an a half later, we made it back to our car – only by listening for the burbling stream we knew flowed past the parking lot!! Oops.
    I recommend bringing a paper map. I find that I do better that way, and I don’t have to rely on spotty phone/gps service, which often dies in reservations and national parks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet compliment!!!! ☺️☺️ Yes, we REALLY need to invest in a good ol’ paper map. So, do you bring a compass?? I’m directionally challenged, so I have no idea where north, south, west, or east is unless I’m somewhere familiar 😩. At least you knew enough to listen to the burbling stream!! That’s Bear Grylls shit right there!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I have an easy trail for you! I use a portion of it for my walk to work, so it cuts through Waukesha. For a portion of the trail, you get to hike on city streets (complete with pavement, FTW) – but once you get through the city, you get a lovely stroll above the lowlands on a ‘quaint, antique wooden bridge.’

    If you’re adventurous, you can follow the trail all the way to Milwaukee or Madison – but that’s a LOOOOONG hike. 12 miles to Milwaukee, and probably over 50 miles to Madison.

    And the path is PAVED. No prickly, pointy plantlife to get all over your socks.

    There are a lot of hiking trails in Wisconsin – most are paved, some have features like tunnels and covered bridges, and you sometimes have to be on the lookout for the militant bicyclers.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. For the love of all that is holy and bacon Print. Out. A Damned. Map. Print it out. Print it out before you leave the house. Print it out and make two copies so all idiots* possess the Yellow Brick Road. Print it out after Googling the everlovin’ shit out of that trail, comparing all the maps, reading all the comments, looking at other people’s trip reports, familiarizing yourself with the drive, the terrain, the closest city, the weather report, how many cappuccinos it’s gonna take, etc. Pieces of paper don’t need a signal and they never run out of batteries.

    While taking in all my clothes 4″ (keto is going nicely, thank you very much) I removed all the exterior pockets on a pair of cargo shorts except one. Why? For the fucking map. Okay, and the little packet of Kleenex. You know why.

    *It’s funny you mention finding someone to just sit and observe nature with because I’ve been fantasizing about finding someone who’ll hike silent. I mean completely silent: No complaints about the price of gas, no descriptions of their hose-beast boss and his latest assholery, no jokes about Trump’s tiny tallywhacker (I approve this but still don’t want to hear it), no rants about vegans (also approved), no updates on irritating health conditions, their mom’s irritating health conditions, their elderly dog’s irritating health conditions, and/or stories about how to get a pill down all three, no laments about how all the good ones are taken but they’re still fucking everything that doesn’t run fast enough and then getting no return texts, no television/movie/gaming/celebrity anything, no whining, period.

    A tall, hot, deaf guy would really hit the spot right now, I’m not kidding. Shit, just to see him sign a Trump penis joke at the trailhead would be worth the price of gas.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I can’t fill your requirements of being tall, hot, male or deaf…but a SILENT walk on a trail with a fellow keto-er would be fan-freaking-tastic!

      When I do my walks to work – I walk alone. With my iPod. BLASTING. In my ears. Same with the home trek. Sometimes, my BF attempts to call while I’m on the walk. I usually ignore the phone because for the love of all things salt and pork – I want my FUCKING quiet time.

      I usually end up getting shit for it when I eventually get home…as if he can’t wait the half-hour to physically talk to me in person.

      Some people just don’t appreciate the value of companionship withOUT verbal diarrhea.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “for the love of all things salt and pork”

        I am now deciding what shall be my go-to exclamations.

        1. For the love of bacon, move your ass, already! (This will be used on the road.)
        2. What in the name of heavy whipping cream is going on here? (This will be used at Trader Joe’s, mostly to fuck with minds.)
        3. Well, salt my bacon…. (This is delightfully prurient and multipurpose.)
        4. Touch my fat bombs and die. (This is just a given.)

        When did you ketogrify?

        Liked by 3 people

  10. I give you all kinds of credit because two days after I start summer break, my legs don’t seem to know what walking involves. Talk about getting tired – the path to the kitchen might as well be the Oregon Trail. And 30 flights? No. Way. Still, your humor about it all is great! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I am! And what’s funny about it is that I walk and stand (at school) all day, so that’s not the issue. But let summer come around and I don’t have to move for a day or two, and suddenly I’m all, “Legs? What are those?”

        Liked by 2 people

  11. After reading this, I find myself curious if it’s really that difficult and wanting to find trails around me to try.

    It’s kind of like when someone tells you to not touch a plate because it’s hot, and you touch it anyway, just to verify.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Yup I can totally relate as I had a similar experience while hiking in WA, had to continually ask “are the falls up ahead?” and then ended up heading “supposedly” to parking lot on a trail I didn’t go up on……didn’t use an app but obviously don’t know how to read signs. Great blog Katie, sadly I enjoyed your bad hiking experiences!!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. When my grandmother was in her late 80’s, we’d walk down the hill from her house to the post office, and on the way back up, she’d stop every time and pretend to watch a bird. Of course, she just needed to catch her breath, but EVERY SINGLE TIME she pretended she’d just spotted a fascinating bird. So your picture taking as a guise for stopping for a breather makes perfect sense to me. Now you have a second excuse to fool people, courtesy of my grandmother.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. You didn’t fail you only fail if yoi dont start! You walked further than you wanted, took more photo’s than you would had you only done 1.5 miles.pat yourself on the back, “Good job”
    Last year I went fpr a walk across fences, styles and streams, i had my app to measure how fast, how far and how many calories I burned. Knackered and exhausted I called home. He found me on google earth. I may have been gone three hours, I may have burned four hundred calories but I couldn’t find my way back. Shaking his head slowly as I walked towards the German engineered Benz, I sank into the seat and air cooled my cheeks. Anyway it was his fault he could have came with me then he wouldn’t have had to find me only a mile from home. In my defence the app said great things, i had walked seven point four miles in a huge circle but I did it almost alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank god you’ve been rescued and your not still stuck in the wilderness! The man probs have you a lift back to the car as he was worried you might have ended up being lost forever and he couldn’t take that on his conscious πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You look so much more fashionable than I do when I’m out walking/hiking. My ensemble usually just insists of boring running shorts and a light coloured shirt so I don’t get too hot! Also, I have taken the wrong trail several times, although it’s usually a 12km instead of 8km trail, so not terribly bad…. If you want a break to catch your breath, take a dog! They will stop to smell alllllllll the time!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Errr, Katie, you are totally a hiker now you know!

    1. You went back for more because it’s pretty.
    2. You got lost – we all get lost! But you had a good adventure!
    3. You use the brilliant “I’m just taking a photo…totally not just catching my breath because I am so unfit” I use that excuse all the time, even to myself!
    4. EVERYONE gets hot and sweaty and tired. We often take clothes to change into because we get so gross. It’s just part of the excuse to go and swim in a lake after the hikes. πŸ˜€

    Those photos are gorgeous and even though you feel like you had some epic fails, it sounds like some epic days out!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Marc has started to take two shirts. When we get to the summit of a hike, he’ll change and hang his damp shirt on the back of his bag to dry…then if once it’s dry he swaps again!! It seems to work well for him!

        I normally just bring a light sundress that I can stuff into my bag. Then I change at the end of the walk if I can be bothered. Or, if we go for a swim I’ll change after that. It makes me feel sooo much happier on the way home. Especially as we use public transport!!

        Liked by 2 people

  18. LOL!!!! I’m not a “trail seeker” because here in Miami the only trails we have, are probably the ones lead one to get mugged, raped, or something in that category. We do this but on ATV’s in Florida, and usually through thicker-than-life mud that we end up stuck in for hours lol. This was a funny and refreshing post and I felt like I was THERE with you. I’m glad you survived the prickly things in your socks and “everywhere” those aren’t easy to remove!!! Lmao!!! And don’t give up!! Keep trailing!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Got lost once with a friend. We ended up wandering around for SIX hours. Each time I go on intermediate/advanced trails, I grunt and groan and cuss like a sailor the entire way up. I’m usually the slowest hiker too. When I’m 3/4 way done, I start lamenting “why the f*ck am I doing this crazy shit?!” Then I reach summit and it all makes sense. You might just be taking trails that are too advanced. Those are the ones that, in my personal experience, are usually the ones that aren’t marked very well. Or, your shoes might not be right for your activity. You need good arch support. Don’t give up! It is a marvelous exercise and totally worth it. Caution: NEVER take your shoes off mid-hike. Your feet will be punishing you brutally when you try to put them back on to finish your hike. Happy trails!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You missed it cuz I’m super duper late in reading all my fave blogs. Prepare to be inundated with likes and comments. PS – I know some folks think it looks funny, but those walking poles are awesome too. Takes the pressure off the knees when coming back down. Happy trails!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I just love you and your writing! You always make me laugh. You had me at “Despite the fact that an elderly man passed me on the hike up the stairs (do you see him in the picture?)” and “The day after almost needing to be airlifted from the lighthouse steps…”. And, Hey! Kudos to you for getting out and taking on all of those sneaky trails. πŸ™‚ This question remains – Have you continued your hiking adventures? Because, I sure would like to hear about more of them. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hilarious! But, your pictures are gorgeous! I love the vision of you getting passed up by some elderly gentleman…that about describes my adventure up Diamondhead!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Well…I laughed (ooops) through your post and the comments ..I have been sitting here for the last 15 minutes reading and smiling and that is much appreciated after the day I had yesterday..I got sort of lost in Udon Thani…so many Soi’s..I just did a big loop and came home to a lovely burning smell…ME…Didn’t you smell that?” HIM… I thought it was the cooking aroma”……I still haven’t answered that!…Pondering overnight… And it got better my new phone ( 2 days old)…You are running out of storage space!!!!! WHAT!!..But I did walk 8k..

    Liked by 1 person

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