January 4, 2011

A Year in the Woods

On New Year's Day, the kids and I left dad at home to finish up some work and headed up into the hills near Monticello for a walk in the woods. It's my favorite place to walk, close to town and easy for little legs to climb, but once you get up on the trail there is nothing else. No wires or houses (well, there is one house, but it's an old farmhouse and looks like it belongs there) and often, no other people. I've never been much of a hiker, probably because when there was a choice to hike, there was generally also the choice to stay curled up on a couch and read, and given the chance, I'll always choose reading, so I won't call what we do hiking, but it's' as close as we get. Welly boots on, we climb the trail up to a hidden meadow where the kids and the dog can run and play and shout and explore.
Sometimes I think I have a split personality over where I want to live. I love being right in town. I love cities with the hustle and bustle, but at the same time I long to be out in the middle of no where, grass and trees and mountains as far as you can see. I want to live in the high rise and the old farm house at the same time. I'm like both characters in Green Acres, all rolled into one. Living in a small town is a good happy medium. There is room for a garden (bigger this year I hope, I have three seed catalogs so far!) downtown is a few blocks away and when I need to, I can escape to the woods with the kids and the dog and just roam.
Once we've tired ourselves out we always head back down the hill by another route so we can stop at the "Resting Tree". The name is ironic because Evie in particular is usually begging to be carried by the time we get there so we sit down to "rest" which involves running up and down the big fallen log like a banshee. So not much rest, but always a must do stop.
As we sat at the tree last weekend, Briton asked if I was going to take their picture and I realized that I almost always do, in that same spot, at the resting tree. So today I went back through iphoto and found some of the pictures from our walks. None of them are spectacular in terms of photography, all were taken with my phone, often in shady light, but looking over a years worth of weekend romps in the wood makes me smile.