Tight Pants 50, who has not chosen to relate his real name, credits Geography teacher Ms Clare Loh with saving his life, limb and sanity.
In school TP50 learnt about contour lines from Ms Loh, the most important thing being that when contour lines are close together of a map, it represents steep, and when far apart, they represent gradual slopes.
Fast forward some years to somewhere near Yosemite National Park in California USA.
TP50 was in a group of hikers somewhere in the high country around Toulome Meadows who wanted to get from one point to another. The distances looked close on the map, and TP50 noticed the large number of tightly packed contour lines between the two points. There was an alternate route that looked like it was 10 times the distance.
The long ago and faraway words of Ms Loh rang in his ears - and he dug in his heels and declared that no way he was going to take the short path, and would prefer to take the long path. The group broke into 2 parties, one party taking the straight line direct path, and the other the long path. Majority of the group joined the first party and took the short part - it was not clear how many members of the group joined the second party, but it appears that there must have been at least one member in that party.
So TP50 arrived tired at the destination several hours later and saw no sign of the other party. This could mean only one of 2 events had transpired. The other party (a) had finished their trip, got tired of waiting and left, or (b) were still on the way. His faith in the words of Ms Loh gave him hope that the (b) was probably the right answer.
A few hours later, the other group finally showed up, totally scratched up and exhausted after having climbed down the steep slope on one side an up the steep slope on the other side. After going down the steep slope, fighting gravity to make sure they did not arrive too early, the legs of the members of the first group had turned to jelly, and then they found themselves having to climb up the steep hillside.
Wherever you are Ms Loh, TP50 thanks you and remembers your words to this day... and still feels for the members of the other group who had not had the benefit of your words.....
This story was written after hearing the story from TP50 himself, with a few additional spicy details (some made up) and posted here by the ghostwriter.