Over the River and Through the Woods...But Not to Grandmother's House Did I Go

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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“Uh, I don’t think we’re going the right way,” I hesitantly told Crazy Amy as I peered intently at Google Maps.

Adventures in Blackwater.jpeg

We were a dot in the middle of a block of green known as Blackwater State Forest.


With no trail to follow on the map, it was really hard to tell what direction we were traveling.


Time to break out the compass on my phone. Thank goodness I still had some juice left.


Yup, just as I suspected after we crawled over the last fallen tree blocking our path. We were headed South and our car was parked Northwest of our current location. Time to turn around.


Thank heavens, Crazy Amy is a good sport and a fun compadre in all things adventurous.


We were almost five hours and 21 miles into our what-was-supposed-to-be a 22 mile training run for our upcoming 50k race two days before Christmas.


There’s nothing like a little adventure to kick off the holiday season and clear the head before the craziness of Christmas Day.


Just some little things like snakes, spiders, river crossings, Minions appearing out of nowhere. . . Oh, and the appearance (and a wee bit of nipping) of a little Fireball at mile 15.


Oh, to get this far and see the things we did, only to be thwarted by taking what I thought was a shortcut to the car but what turned out to be a wrong turn at the last intersection.


Following the power lines along a Gulf Power easement, crossing another creek and beaver dam, and navigating by compass, we finally found our way back to Munson Highway and WALKED the final two humiliating miles back to the car.


So, what should have been a 5 hour 22 mile training run turned into a 6 hour 24 mile training run/hike.


Lesson learned.


Just as my clients need to trust the process and their planning coach (me) that their written Family Succession Plans will save their loved ones time, money and headaches when they’re gone, I should have also trusted that the trail would lead us back to civilization instead of going rogue and taking a “shortcut.”


Kristen “Breaking Out Her Compass” Marks

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