** This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “Experimental”. We were asked to provide images about an experimental experience. A couple weeks ago the school I work for had a teacher in-service day, which meant I didn’t have work and my boys who go to a different school did. I had a day to myself in the middle of the week. That is experimental in itself!
You can find all the entries for this week’s challenge, HERE.
The clouds are low in the sky, white fog envelopes my car as I wind my way north on Highway 101. It is just me and the view, no kids, no work, no husband. I got a later start than I would have liked but I told myself today, I am walking at the pace I need. On goes the music I only sing to when I’m alone in the car and as the first song begins so does the misty rain. I bring my warm tea into my hand, my backpack is next to me in the passenger seat and when I sing tears spring in a welcome release.
I have told my husband I am going walking in Fern Canyon, I turn off the road to begin the arduous last leg to get there and the road is closed. Well, I tell myself, I guess the adventure begins now. I left my cell phone at home, without meaning to, so I can’t tell him plans have changed.
And for the next 4 hours it was true, I was in charge of my own pace. With no watch or phone to remind me of the time.
I found a scenic drive I’d never been on, which the road happened to be closed as well. So, I parked, collected my things and started walking the road. Not long after beginning I noticed a trail leading into the woods, so I veered off the road and walked the welcoming path. The redwoods were towering and silent. The misty air was thick and present. I felt a child-like smile on my face again and again as I walked, looked and listened.
It had been a while since I raised my camera to my eye. But, the more I walked the slower I was. Everywhere I looked it looked better through my lens.
The ground was soft and a bit muddy, my shoes were keeping me from really grounding myself in this moment so off they came. The forest floor embraced my feet and I slowly and softly found a new rhythm and stride. I was not ready to put on my shoes when the trail got back to the road.
As I took a moment to clean my feet before putting my shoes and socks back on I noticed the trail continued through to the other side of the road. I was intrigued and found myself ready to wander again. This trail was steeper and interesting as well.
Soon, I was hungry and I found a redwood tree with a nice high perch. I climbed the ten feet up onto the tree’s exposed roots and made myself comfortable. The forest view was a lovely from above and so was the silence. Not long after I got comfortable a ground squirrel arrived below me. The squirrel and I ate lunch together, hummus turkey avocado sandwich for me and a pine cone for it.
I realized I was close to water when the trees changed from redwoods to maples and aspens. The trail was thick in a coat of fallen fall colors and the sounds of my shoes walking through the muddy leaves reminded me of when I was a kid in the fall.
I soon saw a bridge leading me out of the woods and onto the road. I walked the road back to my car.
When I started driving, my mind was swirling, my eyes were having a hard time adjusting to the blur of the trees past the window. I was moving too fast, too soon after spending such pace-present time in the forest. It took a while to get back in line with the Thoroughbred-pace of a car.