Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vacation Day Two memories

August 21, 2008

So. Tired. I geared up for a long walk along the lakeshore. Long pants, t-shirt, fleece jacket, hat, camera, binoculars, map, water and some snacks. I was off at 12:30 p.m. I was supposed to be able to find a trail to the east of the guesthouse that would take me along the shore back to a picnic area of the provincial park. I most assuredly did not find the trail. I abandoned plan A by 1:00 p.m.

But I was already packed to the ears for a long walk, so plan B had to be formed. I hopped in the car and drove to the picnic area – if I can’t walk to it, I’ll walk from it. (I also start from the finish end of puzzle mazes that stump me and work my way backwards to the beginning.) By 1:20, I was on the path.

And by path, I discovered that I mean large stretch of sand dunes. Hard to walk on soft sand dunes. I also discovered under those conditions that a hole in my sneakers let in soft sand with impunity. So I veered off “the path” and took to walking on the hard packed wet sand right by the water.

I looked up and down the shore ... and decided the first order of business was to take a picture of where I had parked so I could find it again. Luckily someone had created a branch “sculpture” that would be relatively noticeable, otherwise I don’t know I’d have a clue where to return.

All told, I strolled, inspected the beach, watched the water and explored for three hours. The weather was overcast and windy, but not exactly cold. Perfect, actually. Halfway through the walk I realized I was unprepared if the skies were to open and dump on me. Luckily it didn’t come to that. I also realized I’d like to learn animal tracks. I’m relatively confident these are not dog tracks.

I’m suspecting something mid-sized like a raccoon. I’m not saying I’m thinking raccoon. I’m saying I’m thinking racoon-sized.

I saw this house from the shore, and at first thought it would be a wonderful place to live – but when I looked closer, I saw the windows were shattered.

I walked closer, and saw there appeared to be no furnishings. Ah, an abandoned house. That requires exploration. As I climbed the stairs, I had a fleeting thought that this is how horror movies begin. (Luckily I wasn’t sneaking away from my camping cohorts to get a little nooky from a hunk of a teenage boy toy with the washboard abs. Might have saved my life.) Didn’t stop me from trying the door, though, and peeking in when I discovered it was unlocked. (insert theme from Halloween here) After all the times I rolled my eyes at the movies where the dumbass girls poke their noses where they don’t belong and then scream when the psychos come after them, I discovered I’m a dumbass girl. Who knew.

When I got back to where I had began, I didn’t want to just leave without seeing what was on the other end of the shore if it were, so I headed off the other direction. Less simple. I fought my way through roots and trees in my quest to go as far along the shore as I can. Had to throw in the towel when I hit this area.

Well, didn’t have to, I suppose. In fact, I really was tempted to power through a little further in order to reach this beach just on the other side

but I had noticed the water was rising and waves were more aggressive. I was finally able to convince myself that even if I reached the beach, I may not be able to return. So the towel was thrown in and I called it a day.

I got back to the guesthouse at a quarter to five. And sat on the couch until maybe 9:30 p.m. before getting back up again.

A good day. My plan to walk the shore on a weekday in less than stellar weather worked out perfectly. I only saw two other souls the whole day. The first was a park ranger near where I had parked. The second was someone passing by as I was coming down the stairs from my not-really-break-and-not-completely-enter of the spooky house. And yes, I ducked back behind some trees to not be noticeable, and I don’t think the person saw me.

So, tomorrow’s plan is going up to Marten Mountain for another hike. I’m not sure my sneakers can take it. I know my pants can’t. Well, they can but they shouldn’t. They look like they took the walk without me and just dragged themselves through the sand, water and vegetation on their own. So I need to quickly drive up to the mountain and get myself on the path so that if I come across anyone it will look like I ruined my pants that day on the path, and not that I put dirty pants on to go out in public.

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