A little story of an adventure.
Once, there was a grown-up girl named Tosha-the-Brave. She was daring and adventurous, willing to take risks to find beauty and wildness. But there was one thing that Tosha did not like—did not like decidedly—and that was having wet feet.
Tosha often sallied forth on a quest by herself, or with a friend or two in tow. She would come home armed with pictures and tales of her treks. Her photos were exquisite, layered with vibrant colour in the contours of mountains or in shape-shifting clouds.
One such journey began like any other, up with the honey-coloured sunlight to get to a hiking trail in time to miss afternoon tempests. But though the story began like any other, it ended up being the tale of Tosha-the-Brave and the peanut butter socks.
Upon arriving in the wilderness of a majestic park, Tosha and Jody were anxious to stretch their legs on a long summer’s hike. Rounding a bend not far into their trek, floods of people were pouring down the path, calling the warning of there being far too much snow to pass. Undaunted, the girls went forth to see what white beast met their eyes and feet. They laughed to one another at the lowlanders, unused to higher elevations and snow in summer.
On they went, until the path shifted and seemed lost at the crossing of a stream. Perseverance and prayer brought them to the small footpath the trail had become. After meeting two groups of people who said the trail was impassible or impossible to find, Tosha-the-Brave and Jody-the-Tenacious decided to see what lay ahead. On and on they went, over rocks and snow, past glassy-clear mountain pools.
Knowing the trail from a previous hike, Tosha showed Jody where to scale a slope of snow, climb a rock face, and end up with a stunning view of mountains, alpine lakes, and a narrow canyon. Both adventurers stared, wonderstruck at the beauty all around them.
After timeless minutes, Jody, being hungry and very concerned about eating lunch, left Tosha to take photos, and fished out a peanut butter and honey sammich for snacking purposes. Tosha was soon lured into lunching on her own peanut butter and jelly sammich. As they chewed and looked, Tosha heard a great cracking noise and the two friends were in time to watch rushing snow pour like a cataract over the face of the mighty Notchtop. An avalanche! An avalanche like a monster of noise and snow for their very own eyes to see!
There was not enough light in the day for Jody and Tosha to stay and drink in all the bold beauty of the shimmering, rugged world around them. Reluctantly, they shouldered their packs (wherein Jody almost packed a chipmunk by mistake), tromped through melting snow up to their thighs, and re-joined the path below.
Some wandering tracks and then snow clear of prints—with no trail to be seen—were all that lay ahead. But Tosha-the-Brave had seen this trail in deep summer; she was not afraid of losing her way or not being able to pass. She lead the duo fearlessly, forging a path across snow fields (in shorts no less!), always steering the pair straight for the path.
Snow, snow, and more snow! It stung their hands and legs, making them bleed as if small shards of glass had cut them. Still, Tosha-the-Brave pressed forward and Jody-the-Tenacious followed. The lust of adventure and the thrill of the quest was upon them, they would not turn back now! For a mile or more they broke through untravelled snow, then came to a gushing river. There! Many tacks dented the snow. A group of hikers had come through that far at least, making the downward way easier to find and traverse.
By this time, Jody and Tosha had wrinkly-wet feet and socks from falling through the deep snow so often. At times, when the trail wasn’t a steep mound of snow, it was a shallow stream itself, running ever down to meet the snow-melt river below. Surely, surely the path would be dry soon, the girls would say. But it wasn’t. Then, upon dropping under a great canopy of pines and winding down to another lake, the trail became dirt—not snow, stream, or mud.
Tosha rejoiced, immediately proposing a break to change her socks and dry her feet. She did so, but Jody (the foolhardy, now) choose to wear her wet socks, as not only her socks but also her shoes were soaked through and through. Now what does one do with muddy-wet socks from crossing the great Western snow-fields? They put those smelly, soaked socks in their PB&J lunch bag, of course!
Tosha-the-brave knew this, immediately carrying out the plan. She was soon the possessor of peanut butter socks. While many think it is these peanut butter socks that make her able to walk through walls of snow and take all kinds of daring treks, Tosha knew that really, they only smelled funny when she took them out of the bag to wash them. She was bold and brave without them.
Jody Byrkett is the editor of the Pray channel. She lives in picturesque Colorado where she enjoys hiking by sunshine or by starlight, foggy mornings and steaming mugs of tea, reading classic literature and theological essays, studying words and their origins, and practising the art of hospitality. (She also has a habit of spelling things ‘Britishly’.)