Back in the summertime, Robin of Life in the Bogs announced plans for taking a really long walk. I think at the time she was blogging about pilgrimages and her admiration for folks who do them. Robin’s plans for her walk, while maybe not completely a pilgrimage-length walk, but a good long walk, blossomed into the idea for a blog-along style walk in which bloggers were invited to make a jaunt of their own, photograph it, blog it and link it to Robin’s post.
I actually took two walks for this blog. I took one on Columbus Day, but those photos proved to be disappointing. The weather was extremely overcast, and while I know cloudy days can make for some beautiful photos, this day it just wasn’t working for me. I wanted photos of a golden autumn afternoon, and even after adjusting settings on the camera to warm up the shots, they were mostly blah looking to me. I also walked in an unfamiliar place, and although the paths were well-marked, I started feeling just a bit nervous about whether I’d chosen the correct direction at times. Not all of my pictures from this day are bad and unusable – they just aren’t what I wanted for this post. Perhaps they will find a place in a different post.
For this walk, I headed to The Rice Nature Preserve here in the town where I live. I’d walked this trail one time before with the family and dogs in tow. This time I went on my own so that I could take plenty of pictures without my hands be jostled by anxious pulling on leashes.
The day was full of sunshine, although high temperatures were only in the upper 50’s. The vigorousness of parts of this walk soon had me plenty warmed up! I’d forgotten some parts of the trek were rather steep – it is up the side of our little mountain afterall.
I was lucky to find one trail map left at the entrance to the path and excitedly began my trek.
Wilbraham has always been known for its peaches. Since I was in high school, each summer brought us “The Peach Festival” presided over by the Peach Queen and her court. Unfortunately, not all of the acres once owned by the Rice family are still farmed. I don’t know if these particular orchards are still cared for and harvested. I found it so strange to see these peach pits hanging from some of the trees:
The trails continued past the peach orchard to a bench placed in memorial of the couple who started Rice’s Fruit Farm in town.
It reads: “Life has taught us that love does not consist of gazing at each other, but looking outwards together in the same direction.”
Nice sentiment. The view from the bench:
But when I got to a junction on this path, it wasn’t clear which way I should follow. I tried using my sense of direction with the placement of the sun and the trail map, but I chose wrong. I came to a dead end made unpassable from fallen trees and limbs, most likely from the devastating tornado that passed through this area in June of 2011. I turned back. At one point along the path, I ran into a couple of hikers and their pup who I’d chatted with briefly a couple times and they had learned the peak was in the opposite direction than the one I’d chosen. By that time, I was getting a little too tired to try again, so I decided to save it for another day. I’d been out for nearly two hours and had plenty of photos to share, so I didn’t feel unsatisfied with my choice.
Thanks, Robin, for hosting this blog-along. I’ll look forward to checking out everyone’s walks!