A Short Hike in the Woods


There is a large section of National Forest that connects all the houses in my friend’s neighborhood, and presumably goes far beyond that into the wilderness.

This is what it looks like from the road. That little yellow-orange sign says “National Forest Land” and functions as a mark of freedom to walk or ride on through.
Much of the hillside takes on this appearance. The trees are spindly, straight, and enormous. (And, if they fall, they work as rails for snowboarding so long as there aren’t too many branches sticking out.)

Creeks merge at the bottom of the miniature valley. The water and leaves have ended up looking like cereal with too much milk.

The creek-pool sprouts seemingly the only non-coniferous trees. Otherwise it’s pines as far as the eye can see.
This stump marks either the start or the end of the true forest, depending on whether you are coming or going. Ahead you can see the telephone wires that mark the road.

This forest may seem somewhat bleak and devoid of color, and it is (for the moment). But it works nicely as a break from the rest of the world, or a place to do otherwise-horribly-embarrassing vocal exercises.

You get to be alone with your thoughts and words for as long as you can endure it, and this I love.

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