Then we reach the dam on the far side of the lake and head back toward the wooded end, and I remember why I never start this way: It isn't easy to find the trail from this end. We spend about a half hour wandering in the neighborhood, hot asphalt with cars whizzing by, the lake ever-receding behind houses and garages. I am not-quite-silently grumbling while P is saying "This is nice! Just enjoy the walk." Right. Finally we turn back in to the lake shore, and I can see where we should have come out. So I decide to walk backwards on the trail that leads back to the dam so I can see where we should have headed in. P elects to sit under a tree in the shade and watch a lawn man unload his riding lawn mower from a truck. It isn't long before the bank funnels into a shaded grassy trail that follows the lake and ends up near the point of rocky wall that sticks out into the water, where J and I used to launch the canoe when he was five and we had to portage it through the neighborhood from his house before we had a slip at the boat launch.
Along the grassy trail there's a Little Free Library in a birdhouse-like box, brightly painted and inviting. It is fully stocked with free books. (See LittleFreeLibrary.org). What a sweet surprise, hidden as it is along this secret trail.