This morning I drove out to Rattlesnake Point Conservation near Milton. My favorite hiking spot. On the way I stopped and bought a coffee, which I had with some Banana Bread my sister made. I also stopped to take photos of the old gas station at Hwy 25 and 15th Sideroad, which is practically the only evidence of a town called Speyside. I used to stop there occasionally, and purchase I can’t remember what.
I wish some people would learn not to drive so fast. Especially, in places like out in the country. On a blind curve I came upon a freshly killed raccoon. His blood was deep red, and his face was pretty, and staring directly at me.
I finally reached Rattlesnake, then remembered that they only took cash, which I didn’t have. But the man at the gate let me in anyways. I promised to pay next time, but he told me not to promise. I then parked my car and stepped out into the cool air.
After hiking for a little while, Mother Nature defied my expectations, (which were to defy hers) and started raining on me. I persevered though, and in the end they proved to be only passing showers.
I kept close to the face of the cliffs, occassionally looking down at the farm fields way below. Here and there I came across other folk who I usually would greet with a hey. I eventually had to decide whether I would venture down into the Nassagaweya Canyon and walk all the way to Crawford Lake. The alternative was go back. But I don’t generally like going back before it feels like I should. As I turned towards the canyon two couples came walking from that direction. On the back of the one woman was a huge carrier and inside it a baby who I smiled at.
When I reached the middle of the Canyon I stopped to look at the stream. I wanted to catch a glimpse of the Salmon spawning. But I didn’t see any. I then started on the steady incline that would lead up the other side and towards the lake. When I got to the steeper parts I met an woman who I judged to be in her eighties. Possibly even her nineties. I asked her if she was friend or foe. She smiled and answered, friend I hope.
I did not not bother walking around Crawford Lake, as that is a hike in itself. Instead, I went into the Visitors Center and chatted with the young woman working at the counter. She asked me if I was just returning. I told her that no I was at the half way point. I then purchased a tea and some peanuts and sat down to relax. I pulled the dates I brought along with me from my pocket, and enjoyed my lunch. Then I left.
I normally would have chosen another route to return by, but time was slipping away quickly and I had to visit friends at 3 o’clock. So I grudgingly retraced my steps. I met a very large group of young Amish, who I said hello to. I asked one of them if they were going to the lake. He said yes. I then asked if they wished a hard trail or an easier one. But he didn’t seem to know. So I wished him a good hike no matter which.
Before I reached the parking area the sun finally came out. It shone through the trees beautifully, and brightened all the leaves. I pondered whether I should leave, or maybe walk a bit further. But then the sun disappeared again behind grey skies, and so I left. Nearby, I encountered a Chinese woman taking photos of something just off the trail. So I went over to see what it was. They were yellow mushrooms growing from a stump.