The Trail Home :: CR99 220606

Inspired by Charli Mill’s Carrot Ranch, #99WordStories
In 99 words (no more, no less)
write a story that features stone-stacking,

“Oh – thank God!

“Ruthie, sit with Grandpa while I catch my breath.

“It’s my fault we got lost, Sweetheart. I used to know these trails, but I’m not young anymore.  Now – they all look alike.

“Here – let me dry those tears.

“Look – your mother has saved us.  See that stack of stones? I showed her how to do that and send a message.  We’ve seen other stacks, but that one is hers and her message is clear.

“It’s that one colored stone in the middle, unlike the others. She’s telling us to take this trail to find home.”

close up photo of stacked stones
Photo by Viktorya Sergeeva on

GW bio card 4

18 thoughts on “The Trail Home :: CR99 220606

    1. Hi Willow.
      Many years ago I taught this basic idea to a bunch of very young girl scouts and thought at the time, “Someday I’m going to need this trick.” So far, the gray matter is holding but that day seems to creep ever closer. Thanks for giving it a read. 🙂


    1. Ha – I bet you’ve done your share of trails Don and perhaps even encountered a few, um, confusing moments. One of mine took me up close – too close really, with a Yosemite bear. That trail is now impossible to forget.
      Cheers my friend.


  1. Brings back very early memories of me and my dad, walking through the woods…him showing me how to mark a path so that I could find the way back, again. That was the time period when he also taught me how to bait a hook with a worm, catch a fish, and scale (or skin) my catch for cooking when we got home. Halcyon years…. ::sigh:: Nice story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww, what a great little story and what a great idea to mark the trails!! I hope I never lose my marbles but then I guess to a certain extent I don’t have much control over the whole aging thing. Lol – I am always doing brain exercises, crossword puzzles and stuff like that! Haha, my response is getting longer and longer, I’ll end by saying Hi Gary!! Hope you are doing well as I’m doing good but have been so darn busy! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana,
      I’ve missed you.
      But on losing our marbles. I’m going to stake out the position of yelling where I need to, but doing so with grace. My wife is our family puzzle’er. I prefer to write and figure out fun ways of saying things and making vivid word pictures. We are well and just got the news that our daughter has been accepted into medical school – in Michigan. . .
      So we need to move her there rather quickly.
      This may be the domino that starts us on our journey out if California.
      Still trying to get our heads around it all.
      Thanks for stopping by pray 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW! How EXCITING!! Congratulations to your daughter. I know what you are going through as my son in Arizona is interviewing for a job in Minnesota!! I really doubt we will follow them there, but you never know what the future holds!! Praying for an easy transition for your daughter and that getting to Michigan won’t be too stressful! ❤️🙏❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such a magical read, Gary. That little bit of the ‘unknown’ made the story come alive. I have thoughts about what goes on after death, but this little piece of flash was superb.


  4. One can sense the remorse and self-deprecation of the grandfather for getting them into a scary situation, even as he is somewhat vindicated for having taught his daughter well. He may be losing the trail now, but he made a lasting mark through his progeny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Norah,
      Yea – I first learned this trick to communicate with members of one’s hiking partners who were following far behind faster hikers. When the first group came to a fork in the trail, a certain number of rocks were piled up at the start of the branch the first group chose so others could easily know and follow the right branch. I had fun with it when teaching young girl scouts how to do it. They were always a great group to work with.


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