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Allure of the Forest

I was trying to focus on writing but the dog was driving me crazy. She needed exercise stat.

I dropped everything and headed to the dog park figuring that a quick 20-minute sprint with some equally energetic puppies should do the trick.

Much to my dismay, the park was closed for re-mulching. Hoping that they’d be finished in a few minutes, we coasted to the end of the parking lot to wander around the park trails and kill a little time.

Piper was bonkers. What she really needed was a good run. A leashed walk in the woods wasn’t cutting it. We passed another hiker and she barked like she owned the place.

I could hear the mulch truck still grinding in the distance so I thought we’d press on through the forest a little longer. We followed the trail to an intersection. I could take the bridge that looped back to the entrance or turn off to a new trail I’d never tried.

As Piper lapped a little water from the stream, I turned to view my options. And right in front of me was a glorious tree with a part of its massive sturdy roots extended like hundreds of tentacled fingers clutching the earth. It was so beautiful, I had to catch my breath. I couldn’t resist. We had explore more and take the new trail.

The Glorious Tree
The Glorious Tree

We passed streams, crossed bridges, and mossy boulders greeted us along the way. The trails changed from open forest to fern-lined paths to narrow cuts among tall, clustered pines.

We pushed deeper into the forest. As we rounded another corner, we were led to a part of the stream that cascaded over massive boulders, creating little pools of clear, cold water.

Piper bounded over and plopped her little body right in, lapping up the water as she soaked every inch of her fur. I kicked off my unprepared-for-a-hike sandals and soaked my aching piggies in the water.

It was glorious. The water rushed over the large rocks and glimmered in the dappled sunlight. Piper splashed around and I cooled my face and neck as my toes soaked. I could have stayed all day.

Alas, it was time to move on and get back to the world.

As we headed back I thought of how fortunate I was to be led to such an unexpected experience. A friend of mine who is traveling the country recently posted that planning kills magic. In cases like that day, I would have to agree!

I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.
-Henry David Thoreau

Forest Collage
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