Five Years With a Hike
A little while ago was my mom's fifth death anniversary and as I have done in the past, I honored her name by going on her favorite hike. When I started doing it, I didn't think too much about the weather which is highly variable temperature wise at this time of the year. For the last couple years, it has been extremely cold. This year for a pleasant change, it was excellent hiking weather though perhaps still a bit on the brisk side if one is just sitting around.
Due to our extreme drought, the river was very low and I'm pretty sure I could have waded across it at several places.
I seem to recall the wooded area we hike through burned a handful of years back but can't remember the details any longer. But the evidence of the burning is still very evident. There is also a lot of evidence of the park service thinning out the trees to create a more native environment along the river. They do this by girdling the trees to kill them and apparently just leaving them. There were a lot of big branches that have rotted off and fallen, many near the trail and since this was a fairly breezy day, it made me a bit nervous. I never lingered under any of these girdled trees.
I always enjoy seeing these beech trees at this time of the year. Their white bark stands out in stark contrast to the mainly oak trees that are everywhere else.
The path along the river is covered in leaves but due to the decades of use, it is distinct never the less.
Afterwards, since besides my family a couple other people joined along, we took them to a nearby historic town where there is a defunct bridge across the river. In my youth, cars still drove across it on a single boarded lane after flashing their lights to let oncoming traffic know they were heading across. I was always worried about having to navigate this bridge when I got my license. I'm not sure if they closed it to traffic before or after I got my license, but I never had opportunity to drive across it which was fine by me. After the new bridge was built a half mile or so upstream, this one was closed down and has been converted to just a walking path across the river. These old metal framework bridges, once so plentiful, are now fairly rare anymore. This may be the only one left across this river and I know of just a few others across some smaller rivers in the area.
With the sun setting, we walked back to our vehicle and headed home. Life has certainly changed for me in the last five years and rarely does a day go by when I'm not thinking about mom is some aspect of my life. Mostly I just wish she had got to see all her two granddaughters have accomplished in the last five years. She would be so proud.