Perspectives on Walking

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I love finding scenic places near where I live that I’ve never been before.  David and I are still walking, getting ready for that trek across England, and today we walked through Northwood State Park, crossed Old Mountain Road, and took the Parsonage Lot trail up Saddleback Mountain.   This part of the walk was familiar, but when we got to the first summit of Saddleback, we kept going, past the sign that said “To Deerfield,” a continuation of the trail I’d never walked before.

Thankfully someone has done what looks like a recent marking of the trail with orange arrows on brown boards, because this part of the trail was far less traveled and hard to see.  We pitched down a steep slope on a soft pine needle forest floor, passed through an old stone wall, and crossed granite ledge outcroppings green with moss.  Along the edges of the ledges were small hardwoods, furry with catkins.  It was lovely, and I’d never seen it before.  And maybe best of all, we didn’t get to see where the trail ends (we suspect it goes to the road on the other side of Saddleback that leads to the radio tower) because we had to turn around.  So I get to go back and see more closeby landscape I haven’t seen before.

Yesterday I went for a walk with Adrienne and Alison and Emilio, and got another new perspective on walking.  Coming back down Canterbury Road, Emilio was motoring along, his belly out, his arms pumping, his little legs lifting and cruising on the pavement.  At one point he got to the side of the road, where a solid band of sandy gravel has collected.  He slowed down, looked at his feet on the different surface, and bent his ear down to listen to the crunchy sound of his shoes on the gravel.  Then he walked purposefully back on to the pavement, watching his feet and listening.  Back to the gravel, more steps, more watching and listening.  Then back to the pavement and motoring along.  How cool, to watch that big baby brain figuring out what his feet sound like on different road surfaces.  And then go back to walking.

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