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Old 04-01-2013, 03:37 PM
hairwing530 hairwing530 is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: northern Michigan
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Default Re: I Met Myself Last Night...

Today's "river walk" was an early afternoon sort of affair, an oddity for yours truly as I'm partial to first-light wanderings, along with the occasional lantern-light travels. The walks are about as close to "off-season" exercise as I care to get, as repetitive exercise without the scenic vistas tends to bore me to tears.

There was something else odd about today's walk along the riverbank trail, something I'd never encountered in the 3+ years that I've been able to partake of the pleasure-- footprints! At first, I was surprised to see them in the fresh skiff of snow. But, that was before my curiousity got the better of me. I had to see if the man's boots traced a path parallel to my own wanderings, and so I started off down the same "river road" as the footprints that led me on.

For awhile, our feet were in total sync, twisting around this or that deadfall before returning to the trail along the top of the bank at the river's edge. But, by the time I hit the mid-way point in my walks, the boot prints took a decided 45-degree track to the left, walking with purpose along a path that I couldn't detect, nor of which I had any prior knowledge.

It wasn't long before I found myself staring at a rundown one-room cabin in the middle of the national forest lands. Its age was difficult to pinpoint, as it appeared as if it had been left to its own devices years ago. Still, it was a mystery in need of further exploration...

I spent the next hour or so poking around the cabin's interior, stumbling across everything from a deep pan that had seen too many fires for far too long to a rusty old lantern sans the glass. The lantern will be a renovation project, come summer...

I picked up the man's trail again on the backside of the cabin, again making another change in direction, one that led back to the river's edge at a point a bit farther than my usual wanderlust takes me. There, I saw the reason for his wide deviation away from the trail. Whereas the bulk of the riverbank along this stretch makes access difficult-- unless your resume' includes the job title of a "sherpa" -- here rests an easy incline to the river, its entrance hidden somewhat by a network of brush. Duly noted in the ol' memory banks for later, I circled around the deadfalls and headed back to the house, my "new/old" lantern in tow.

There is a saying in the world of fly-fishing that "you never fish the same water twice on a good river, as the currents are ever-changing..." Perhaps, the same holds true for the land that surrounds our favorite stream, only at a much slower pace. In its discovery rests its own soul-satisfying reward...

Jerry, aka hairwing530
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