Some of you may be familiar with Robin’s (breezes at dawn) annual Walktober blog posts. Every October she invites all of us bloggers to take a walk, blog about it, and share a link to it on her original post.
At the end of the Walktober challenge she posts a story highlighting all of our walks. It’s a grand community event that involves bloggers near and far, from this country to that.
I have always admired this tradition–and wanted to participate–but have gotten sidetracked and distracted again and again from joining in on the fun.
This year is the year. Here is this year’s link inviting us all to take an October walk between the 3rd-18th.
Where to take a Walktober walk? There are many beautiful places here in our neck of the western Upper Peninsula woods. Rivers, lakes, forests, waterfalls…hmmm…where to trek?
I know, how about take off through the woods behind our house for a hike? No trail, no path, no real destination.
Just see where the feet decide to go. See how far they want to go.
C’mon, will you join me?
First of all, you may want to wear some boots. I know sneakers work well for many woods-walks, but it is really slippery out in the woods today. Rain drizzled on dying brown ferns everywhere yesterday. Red and orange and yellow leaves are slick underfoot.
It’s so beautiful outside. I wonder–per usual–why I don’t take this walk every week. In the “old days” I wandered incessantly everywhere through these woods. Up ravines and down ravines. Across the road, down the road, up the road, into whatever woods called.
It’s hard to write these words, but the effects of aging seem to be creeping in. It’s not as effortless to scramble over downed trees, to navigate through raspberry patches, to tiptoe down steep hills maintaining balance.
At what age does one choose the path well-traveled–the roads, the tamed landscape, the meadows? I am finding it much more convenient to choose the cultivated path more often at age 63. The gravel, the blacktop, the grass.
What if one fell and tripped out there two miles from home? It hasn’t happened–nary a fall–but tripping still happens. Tripping is a natural part of woods-walking. No cell phone service exists out there in the trees, except when it unexpectedly does.
The above photo shows a path of sorts. Years and years and years ago (long before our time) an old “road” meandered through the forest back behind our house. It’s littered with fallen trees and impassible roots in places, but it makes me happy to walk this path of history.
Fungus abounds everywhere, new life growing on fallen trees.
I didn’t spot any red and orange and yellow and white mushrooms this morning, but three weeks ago they burst forth in abundance everywhere poking up between fallen leaves.
I have a friend across the bay who picks and eats wild mushrooms with expertise. She’s taken classes, and she assuredly identifies them.
Not this little lady. Morels are identifiable in the spring, but the rest of the bunch–let’s just err on the side of safety.
Up ravines we hike. Up a ravine, down a ravine, slippin’ and slidin’.
The ravines formed after a wildfire razed our area in the late 1920’s. Loggers practically clear-cut the woods to provide Henry Ford with wood for the interior of his cars, and the remaining brush caught fire and burned. The fire started as a locomotive carrying logs to Ford’s lumber mill in nearby Pequaming ignited the slash left from the heavy logging. The fire burned for days and could be seen from L’Anse, twelve miles away. Huge swaths eroded in the soil and it meandered downhill into the Huron Bay, filling up our bay with silt.
Hence, the up and down ravines everywhere you walk.
I love ferns, even the dying and dead ones. The above photo reminded me of a helicopter. Its new name is Helicopter Fern, but don’t try to get Google to agree to this. Except–holy moly!–there actually is something called a Helicopter Fern, and my fern has no right to that title, except in imagination.
Look up–red and gold everywhere!
You may have noticed that our woods still sport lots of greens and yellows.
Yes, other woods in our areas are gleaming in bright bold autumn colors–but our woods wait until later in October to burst out. And often, I admit, it just depends on the trees.
Some leaves go from green to yellow and fall off.
Others turn bright reds and oranges and you hear the Hallelujah Chorus as they fall.
Thanks for joining me on this Walktober walk. None of us fell, I hope?
We’ll–hopefully–keep walking without trails and signs and roads–for years and years to come.
Some of my most admired walking friends are still hiking in their 70’s. I want to be them when I grow up.
Thanks for joining me in this meander to nowhere and everywhere. Anyone with a blog who might want to participate–will look forward to reading about it!