Friday, September 11, 2015

In Which We Are Lost Under the Noonday Sun and Then Found

This starts off as a fine little walk, following the well-marked trail circling the lake that I've canoed on a million times and walked around several times.  P has never circled the lake before, but he has the idea to start out along the lake instead of in the woods where  I have always started.  I think he enjoys the lake shore more than the woods.  I am not usually compliant when it's a question of hiking a trail that I know and the other person doesn't, but an ancient and archaic pattern has us in its grip, and I follow along like a witless puppy.   Maybe my brain is already baked by the noonday sun.  So we see many turtles sunning, a festival of cattails, and our canoe on its rack at the boat launch.  Hello, Pelican!

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  What a sweet surprise, hidden as it is along this secret trail.
And so this page shows the rest of the walk, through the woods past the hidden picnic table, through the flowery, leafy overhang, rounding the edge of the bird sanctuary.  We dip into the bird sanctuary and walk a couple of laps along the boardwalk.  Really, it's a nice walk, but still, it's better to start off through the woods!

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