|A bicycle waits near the trail. If you look ahead you can see that the center of|
the trail is a long skinny "balance beam" made of railroad ties.
This entire experience makes me think of the pioneers who crossed through the Midwest on their way to Oregon, California, Utah and Wyoming. I wondered how a child could get lost on flat land, which is recorded as happening. First let me say that the plains are not flat land. They are full of rolling hills and shallow valleys. When the grass is chest-high on adults, it would be over the heads of children. This is not a nicely mowed lawn.Yet still there is no shade for adults--and, for the pioneers, no one to mow the trail.
I think the mothers must have looked forward to the occasional shaded area near a river or creek, while at the same time dreading the increasing dangers for their children. Creeks and rivers and trees to wander in, shadows to hide them, wild animals...all must have been scary for those who came from cities to try to make a new life for themselves.
We find areas where deer have lain; the grass is temporarily matted down in large areas, yet there is very little sign of entry. A child could easily wander through grass and be lost.
On the bright side, there are many beautiful grasses, trees, wildflowers, moss, ferns, mushrooms...birds singing, signs of other small animals but I probably talk too much and scare them away. We saw actual deer once, though.
Anyway, back to yesterday...we found ourselves at the end of this forest road, and it came out on a paved road, so we decided to walk a little way and figure out where we were and where it went. Next time I'll just come home and use the internet maps! We had walked 1.3 miles, according to my pedometer, and by the time we were done, we had walked 3.2 miles! That means we walked 1.9 miles along a paved road.
|A close-up view of part of the woods. Courtesy maps.google.com.|
The nice thing is that I can do it! I was tired, and we did a 10-minute yoga session to stretch out after our little hike, but I did it! And I only hurt a little bit today.
We took it easy today, though, only a quick 1.2 miles around in the mall. If that sounds to you like it's not easy--because don't you hate it when someone walks an "easy" walk and it sounds like it would kill you--don't chastise yourself. You can only start where you are. When we moved here a year ago it was hard for me to walk the quarter mile to work. And look at me now! Climbing around on bike trails and taking the long road home!