Today was everything I wanted last Friday to be – absolutely amazing. And all I had to do was wander off while trying to go to the feed store for bunny food. I hardly ever just go out to do errands anymore. Somehow I always manage to find myself falling down the proverbial rabbit hole again.
It was a cloudy day so I decided to go up Witt Hill in Jaffrey to see if I could get any foreboding shots of Mount Monadknock but alas, it was completely covered in clouds! So onwards I went towards Peterborough where the feed store was. I’ve been down these quaint country roads many times, it’s one of my favorite places to drive, but somehow during all that time I had failed to notice a trail hidden behind a small marker reading “Wales Preserve.” There was no parking so I had to cuddle the car up next to a bridge a little up the road and walk the rest of the way.
This place was swank as far as trails go! It had a memorial rock right at the entrance as well as a mailbox full of maps and a guestbook. Whoever left this place must have been loaded – as most of Sharon is. And wow! It was breath taking!
The path led me straight to the Gridley River which I got to walk aside for almost the whole trip. The view was fantastic and the river itself was nice and accessible. There were flat rocks that ran right across it at many points and it was a joy to scramble out on them to take just the right angle of shot. I was so so very happy here. Rivers have come to be almost spiritual places for me. The sound of the water gurgling by, the smell of the algae, the taste of the crisp fall air, all made me deliriously happy. I splashed about at a few points and had the intense desire to strip down to my skivvies and plunge the rest of the way in. But alas, I was already doing a great job embarrassing myself with all my clothes on.
I had thought I was alone you see… I mean who else would be here, there were no cars… and that’s when, bitching vocally to the camera, “Focus damn you!” three people came striding by to see my sorry butt in the air, my slacks sagging (from loss of weight and lack of belt) and my drawers hanging out, standing on all fours on the ground trying to get just the right shot of an adorable mushroom I found. Who knows what they think I was doing, either way everyone avoided eye contact. And not long after that a woman came by with her young son. It was all rather sweet.
Being autumn I found all sorts of great little mushrooms – all colors and sizes, some single, some in vast groups, all colors, and even one that looked like it had chocolate chips on it. I adore mushrooms. Most people oo and awe over flowers. I often take photos of flowers just for this but left on my own I much prefer the mushrooms and their weird textures. Slimy? Cool! Purple? Even better!! I didn’t find any purple ones today but I did see a number who seemed…. excited to see me? A wink and a nod is all I need to move on.
The trail went on quite a ways and ended at a little bridge where it connected to another trail that went… .who the hell knows! Another trail off the main one was labeled, “woodland trail” and that one was a loop trail. I didn’t get to explore it but this preserve had a sign saying it was still open in winter for hiking. I suddenly need snowshoes. I thought I’d be cooped up for these cold dark months but maybe not. All the women in my life keep yelling at me – for getting lost, for having too much “bravery” to go charging into strange woods alone, for just generally being adventurous, but you know what? If I get eaten by bears then so be it. At least I died doing something I loved. And besides I have yet to see any bears but now that I said that there will probably be a plague of them on my next little jaunt.
Anyway, this place was soooo pretty and relaxing I would suggest it to anyone. Truly delightful. I am calm once again! Even more so my mind is sparked and enthusiastic. I dream of someday owning a property much like this, hopefully with a river running through it, so I may also create a hiking trail for the public, winding through the woods, past fairy houses placed by local artists, and past my little educational farm and back again. I can see it so clearly and I know in my heart working towards this goal is what I am supposed to be doing with my life – giving back, being joyful, becoming the wild child I always knew I was. Anyway, if you’d like to help me with making that vision a reality feel free to donate to my GoFundMe or stick around and I will be opening up an Etsy store for my art and hopefully publishing a few books during the winter. Peace and love to all my readers. May you all have as wonderful a day as I had.