Today my wife, dog and I decided to hit the trails for some time in the sun. The temps were around 50 degrees so it felt like a heatwave, why not get out and enjoy nature instead of heading to the mall or some other ridiculous venue. This nature preserve is a nice one although small and rarely do we ever see anyone else out on the trails. The last time we were in this area a random chicken appeared out of nowhere, it was lucky it had swift feet because my boy was keen on taking it out. A chase ensued but I intervened pretty quickly out of mercy, poor chicken was minding its own business and didn’t expect to get hunted that day.
So there we were on the trail navigating elevated terrain and a muddy base layer covered by leaves, deciding whether or not to go right or left whenever the trail split. We took a few turns and eventually found ourselves heading in a direction we did not want to go as the trail appeared to descend sharply toward a road and river crossing. The entire time we were on the move I had kept a sort of mental compass going as to which way our point of origin was, I guess it’s the sort of thing that most men do. I told my wife that we needed to head “that way” to head back to the vehicle (picture me holding my arm out and pointing) which meant we’d have to break brush to do so. She was for it as the vegetation was pretty thin, it being winter and all. We got off the trail and made it about 100 yards into the woodline when I spied a game trail, actually my boy spied it first and was anxious to follow it. Sure enough quite a few times we happened upon deer droppings and eventually this led us to a small pond which I’m sure they use for water.
We were 15 minutes into our detour through the brush when my wife started doubting me. “Are we going the right way? I think we need to turn back. This is definitely the wrong way.” Tsk tsk, oh ye of little faith woman. Even though we were winding in and out of patches of thicker and thinner brush I still had my sense of direction, it’s why I try to keep a mental log of which way we are headed while out walking. Granted on longer treks of 5, 10, 25 miles overland it’s imperative to have a map and compass on hand but this was probably 2 to 3 miles at best in a postage stamp of a nature park. I still found it rather hilarious that my wife continued to doubt me, I suppose it’s normal for someone who isn’t used to being off the beaten path. Needless to say we broke through the brush and finally came back to the main trail, probably 300 meters from the small gravel parking lot where our vehicle was. I didn’t say I told you so but it was apparent that she was relieved.
We did get back down to a stream so that my boy could get a much needed drink of water, of course this made him much more difficult to clean up once we had to load him back up but it was worth it.