Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Boy, when the snow is gone, does this place green up! This scene is on my way to the office, across the road from the high school. When I prepare pictures, I usually fiddle with the contrast, since my camera tends to shoot a little flat. But this one I left as is. The depth of green here is stupefying.
And apparently delicious, these girls say.
Here we have Des and Ziwa on the Whistlestop Trail, one of our new favorite walking spaces. This is an old railbed set up primarily as an ATV/snowmobile trail that runs from here to Jay and Livermore Falls, which is close to 20 miles, I guess, though we only need a small portion of that. We walk a mile or a mile-and-a-half and then come back, and often without running into anyone at all, rarely seeing more than one or two other people.
On this particular day, we ran into two good-sized groups of ATV riders, but these are not the motor-revving hotdogs who would make it unbearable -- just family groups including grandparents and little kids, putting along at more than a walking pace but nothing that stirs up any dust or comes up on you like Marlon Brando in "The Wild One." I grab the dogs' collars and stand off to the side, we wave, everyone smiles.
Incidentally, I've noticed that folks around here don't leave for vacations. They stay and work on their houses, go out on ATVs or snowmobiles, depending on the season, and basically do the stuff they don't have time or energy for during the work week.
I mentioned this to one of my neighbors and she said she and her husband like rural Florida but don't have much use for the city. They went to Disneyworld once because everyone told them they should. They found themselves standing for two hours waiting to get in and someone said, "You know, once you get in there, you'll do this again for anything you want to do." That was the end of their trip to Disneyworld -- "We were out of there," she said. "Who needs that?"
The concessions are cheaper on the Whistlestop, too.
This is the view from a bridge near the trailhead. That's Temple Creek below, but quite far below. I was taking this, with the dogs standing around saying, "Why are we stopping?" and looked up to find one of the groups of ATVs we encountered quietly putt-putting towards the bridge, then turned around to see a guy alone on an ATV at the other end, waiting for the larger group. I shooed the dogs off ahead of me and we let everyone pass before moving on.
That was the closest we've had to a "Stand By Me" moment. When Stephen King was a kid, this was probably still a train line, but he grew up about 50 miles south of here and I'm sure his childhood rambles didn't take him THIS far.