Our lease is nearly up, we’re not ready to buy, and there is a chance we won’t find a rental house here in the mountains. Every day that I hike, and that’s most days, I think about how much I’d miss these trails. Clean, beautiful and quiet, these paths are a hiker’s dream.
I usually have them all to myself and that suits me fine. But today I’d love to share them with you. Let’s lace up our shoes and get going, shall we?
Out the front door and there is Abel, my neighbor’s dog, bidding us farewell. He’ll watch out and greet us on our return.
We don’t have to go far before the creek becomes wild and loud. Rushing water silences my worry radar and seems to say, “You can get back to your noises later. For now, it’s my turn to speak so quiet your thoughts and just listen.” Let’s do that for a moment.
Here we are at the Lower Falls, arguably the prettiest one in Big Canoe (but please don’t tell the others I said so.) It’s especially majestic after a big rainstorm.
This is my favorite tree. If you look up at it, you see two stately trunks that put me in mind of a couple that has shared many years. At your feet, the twisted roots that speak to all they’ve come through together.
My sweetie and I shared a kiss here and were surprised by a young hiking couple. We broke apart and laughed. After they passed us, the guy cheerfully instructed, “Carry on!”
This stand of mountain laurel is the spot where an inquisitive fawn came out to have a look. An adult doe appeared from behind the brush and calmly walked behind junior, leading him back to the group.
There is a log across the creek here and it’s handy for balance as you step on carefully placed rocks. My son, however, tends to enjoy finding unconventional ways to do things so he wrapped his arms and legs around the tree and crossed by pulling himself while hanging there.
Beginning last September, Eric let me know he’d like a little camp stove. He never asks for anything, so I was thrilled to have a gift idea. He mentioned it EVERY TIME we talked about Christmas and it was the best $30 I ever spent. We often carry it up the mountain and enjoy hot soup or chili for lunch.
This is where we saw some bears and, from a safe distance, watched three shaggy black forms lope up the hill. Over here, a flock of wild turkeys trotted away from the invasive humans. And just there we were given an unforgettable lesson by some bees about the dangers of leaving the trail.
We’ll rest here at Ponder Point (if you believe the sign) or Ponder’s Point (if you give more credibility to a bench plaque.) Either way, it is a good place to have a snack and prepare for the walk back.
Hopefully I have many more hikes to come and you’ll get to join me for real someday but, if not, I know I’ve been blessed by this time, this place, and all of you. It’s been wonderful having you here with me.