Sunday, March 18, 2012

What We've Been Up To

Christopher's bridge dance, on top of a
so-cold stream.
Not much costuming. After a late winter spell, springtime has arrived and everyone in this family, everyone in town, is outdoors as long as it's not actively raining. Sunshine's been aplenty, so hours outdoors are aplenty.

Yesterday the boys and I ventured a first real hike. Some miles out in the countryside, where the land lumps and bumps next to the Kentucky River, there's a sanctuary called Raven Run, that's life and protection to bobcats and deer, mink and muskrats, beavers and spring peeper frogs, wildflowers and moss, great trees and enormous vines.

There are springs, and homesites, tiny family cemetaries, some. like Mr. Moore's, of just one headstone, small streams and Raven Run itself, ruins of an overshot mill at that creek, and in one corner, palisades -- tall cliffs -- overhanging the Kentucky River at the bottom of a gorge.

They had first lessons in trailcraft: how to stay on the trail, and to lean into steep spots, how to find good footholds, and how to put one foot right in front of the other, Indian-wise, so as to be as quiet and make as little mark as possible.

At what the trail map called the water gate, where the foundations of the mill surrounded small cascades on flat-laid bedrock, we paused for a long while. Who can resist playing in silver shallows? Not me, certainly, who grew up next to what what was the most fascinating creek possible, loaded with dam possibilities, fallen logs, shallow cave-like recesses in low shale cliffs, fossils galore, overhanging hemlocks, and bloodroot and phlox and grapes.

Successfully negotiating the creek.

A moss forest clings to a miniature cliff.

Several miles later we returned to the picnic grounds and had a second, much-needed picnic boost, and then Noah fell asleep on the ride home, while Christopher supported his head in one hand and dangled the other out the car window to enjoy the breeze. All sleep last night was deep and happy, despite a midnight thunder-boomer.

Future hikes? Undoubtably. They are already laying their plans.


MrsC said...

What a beautiful place you live in!

ZipZip said...

Thank you, Mrs. C! Yes, it is pretty countryside. There are lots of streams and woods in the hilly areas, and the flatter areas were once wettish savannahs, if that makes sense, where scattered giant trees, stands of cane and bluegrass were dominant, and buffalo roamed. Now those areas are horse farms...

Very best,