I debated. Turn around and look for the right road? Go back and drive to a trail I had been on many times before, but knew how to get to? It was sunny out, something that has rarely happened this winter. I kicked myself for not bringing a map or GPS.
Then I saw some ski tracks coming up from the highway. They climbed up into the woods. Still hoping to find the elusive lookout site, I decided to follow. The tracks wound their way cross country through the trees. I felt skeptical, but kept on going.
Eventually I emerged into an open bowl. High mountains loomed above; the ski tracks climbed up the face. The sun lit up the snow in the valley. It was incredibly beautiful.
I sat in the snow and gazed at the mountains. I hadn't made it to my original destination, but I was at a place I would never have gone if I hadn't followed the ski tracks.
I should have known. Backcountry skiers seek out the beautiful places. I felt thankful for those mystery skiers as I made my way back down through the forest.