Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Hike of 2014

This year came in with more of a moan than a bang. I was feeling depressed...2013 was an awesome year, and maybe I was just sad to see it go. I'm not exactly sure the reason; only that I was feeling a general foreboding about 2014. There is nothing like a jaunt in the wilderness to air out the mind, so I decided my hiking hiatus was over. It was time to get back out there.

At first I thought I needed something a little different...something new, exciting, and challenging. Come out of the gate running, as they say. Why not try snowshoeing? But the current conditions for the spot I wanted to snowshoe meant a chance at a little more excitement than I was ready in, "you may get buried by an avalanche" excitement. Not a good way to start off a year your having "foreboding" feelings over. 
I decided instead to just take my dog over to Rockport state park for a good old fashioned walk in the woods. I know, how tame can you get, right? I went from wanting to come out of the gate running to instead crawling; but I realized what I really wanted was solitude. Rockport has been indefinitely closed for anything but day use for some time now, and so most people only stop to use the restrooms. (which are quite nice, btw) The handful of trip reports on the WTA website raved about how the 3 mile loop there is an overlooked treasure, so I figured it was time to check it out. 
A new twist to my obligatory bridge pic...bridge with dog!
First of all, you need a "Discover Pass" to park there. (though there are signs saying you got 15 free minutes...just enough time to take a pee) So I stopped at the Ranger Station to buy my very first annual Discover Pass. Guess what? You can't buy them there. I'm sick to death of people whining about the government, so I'll just say I found this a little baffling. No matter, I bought one at the Red Market and determined not to let it bother me. 
Lexi soaking in a little sun
Lexi was so afraid of this monster root that
she growled at it...which sort of scared the crap
out of me until I realized what she
was growling at.
When I finally arrived, I was concerned that my solitude plans were ruined as there where quite a few cars there. Though, a closer look revealed no passes; which meant everyone was probably just using their free 15 minute potty break. 

Outer Evergreen Trail, and inner Fern Creek Trail
And sure enough, in my leisurely two hours of strolling both the loops there, (see map) I did not see a single soul. The abandoned campsites had an eerie sort of apocalyptic feeling to them which I actually really enjoyed. When I came to the end of the large loop I found a beautifully designed interpretive trail that is completely wheelchair accessible. It was here that the full weight of my foreboding feelings and sadness hit me, with the realization that one of my best friends might be needing to use this before the year is out. It's quite a story, but all I will say is muscular dystrophy is not something you would want, and there are rare forms that you REALLY don't want. I tried not to cry, but instead thought about how wonderful it was that this trail is available. I determined that I would take my friend back here with her wheelchair when it comes to that, and it will be a good day; a good day of not thinking about what tomorrow might bring, because none of us really know. But we all know that a simple, old fashioned walk in the woods is a good thing any day, and I was certainly thankful for this one. 

1 comment:

  1. I have driven by this park but never stopped. It looks like a nice trail and a pleasant walk. My prayers for your friend.