Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Path Ahead

Walking along old woods roads is one of my favorite ways of getting deeper into the forest around me. The eastern forests around me tend to have a lot of undergrowth, so bushwhacking isn't easy or even feasible, not to mention that I end up trampling the understory. But woods roads were cut years ago, for purposes long past being important, so today they are little used, often forgotten. Often the roads don't really go anywhere, at least not anymore, so a traipse along one is the kind of walk where the journey is always more important than a destination.

And in the autumn, the old roads are leaf covered and tree draped, graceful and peaceful paths that are lined with beauty. To me, walking along one feels as though I am walking back in time--back to a quieter, simpler time with less noise and bustle. It's impossible to feel stressed or harried when I'm walking on one of these old roads.

In an way, it's just as well for me that most of these roads don't go anywhere. I get caught up in them too easily and always want to see what's around the bend. The path ahead, ever and always, draws me onward. If the roads kept going on, whether for miles or for decades, I would likely keep going too, unwilling to turn around and head home, when an unexplored bend in the road lies ahead.


Lynne said...

We found the remains of an old logging road on the back side of Hasty Brook last fall. It does feel like a step back in time.

Kat said...

Such a beautiful post, and so true! The woods are full of surprises.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: Those old logging roads are especialy beautiful in fall--but winter can be great too!

Kat: Thanks! There's always something new to see in the woods, even when it's a woods I've been to every day.

Carolyn H.

pablo said...

I wish I were there with you.

I'm surprised that the road has stayed so open as your picture shows. In the Ozarks that would be overgrown by one season.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo: I wonder what the difference is that makes my old roads stay open and yours get overgrown so quickly? The forests here have tons of undergrowth--despite the massive quantities of deer--so it isn't as though I don't have an understory that could invade the roads.

Carolyn H.