Hiking Down Memory Lane

As teenagers, my brother and I spent a lot of time playing in the woods.  We went hiking, fishing, and swimming in the creek.

We also built a makeshift fort and took some of my mom’s old lawn furniture down there.  Mom never did figure out what happened to her chairs.

We spray-painted graffiti under the bridge.  We wrote our names, the names of our dogs, and noted each year we were there.

Basically, the two of us ran wild through those woods and we were having a blast.

That was 26 years ago.  Aaron passed away three years ago and his birthday is on Monday.  I decided to take his daughter (Gwen) out there.  She heard various stories over the years, but never got a chance to see the area.  It seemed like a good way to honor Aaron’s memory.

I was surprised to see a lot of our graffiti is still there.  Each step I took, felt like I was going back in time.  Even though the terrain has changed some over the years, I could still recognize different sections and areas.  I still remembered my way around those woods.

Memories of those days flooded my mind.  It was a surreal feeling.  I could almost see us and our dogs running wild.  I was excited to see it all again.  However, I felt the grief of my brother’s death.

I was hiking down memory lane and my heart was overflowing with mixed emotions.

 

Burritt Nature Trail – Huntsville, Alabama

Gwen and I took two of our dogs (Blue and Buddy) hiking last Saturday.  We followed the Burritt Nature Trail in Huntsville, Alabama.

It’s a great place to hike and explore.  You will find interesting foliage and caves.  However, the trial can get pretty rocky at some points, so you have to watch your step.

As you follow the trail, you will find a clearing in the woods and at the edge of that clearing is a massive cross.  The cross was built in 1963 by the Huntsville Ministerial Association.

The trail then continues behind the cross.  At this point it is steep and extremely difficult to navigate.  The trail takes you up to the top of the mountain.  The view up there is extraordinary and well worth the effort.

We took a rest break at the top of the mountain, then we went back down to the clearing, and continued to follow the trail.

It took us two hours to complete the entire trail.  When we got back to the Jeep, we were all sweaty, dirty, stinky, hungry, and completely exhausted.

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Off Roading with Mom

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I decided to go off roading this week and my mom was riding in the Jeep with me.  We went down an old dirt road that was full of large holes.

I was just about to compliment my mom for not getting nervous and for handling the situation so well.  However, at that moment we hit a large hole in the road and the Jeep tilted right a good bit.  My mom immediately cried out, “I think I’m going to have a heart attack!”

I started laughing and told her I was just about to say how good you were doing on this trip.  Oh well, maybe next time.

 

International Harvester by Craig Morgan

I prefer living in rural communities.  As you drive away from the city, there are fewer and fewer cars on the road.  There are also long stretches of road surrounded by woods and fields.  However, traffic jams can still happen even in the middle of nowhere.

Doggy Day Out

Cook’s Pest Control came today to spray the yard for fleas and ticks.  We don’t have any, but with five dogs it’s important to be proactive.  The dogs had to stay out of the yard for a couple of hours, so I decided to take them on a field trip.

First, we did the drive-thru at the bank.  I deposited my check, and the teller sent out five biscuits for the boys.  I called each boy by name and handed them their treat.  They all did an excellent job.  They waited calmly for their turn and didn’t try to take a treat from another dog.  The teller was very impressed and said, “Your dogs are awesome.”

Next, I took the boys into the woods.  They had a wonderful time running around and swimming.  Ben tried to catch some of the fish, but wasn’t successful.  It was fun watching him try and it made me laugh.

Finally, it was time to go home.  The boys had a great time and they are all exhausted.  I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning the Jeep, because it was covered in mud.

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Into the Woods

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I go into the woods alone, to sit in silence and listen.  I hear birds singing, bugs chirping, and the wind rustling the leaves.  I can smell the freshness in the air.  The longer I sit the more at peace I feel.  I am becoming one with the nature around me.  I feel a longing to connect with the animals that hide or scurry about.  I close my eyes, and let all the stress leave my body.  All feels right with the world.  Eventually, I must leave the woods.  However, that peace stays with me until I go into the woods again.