Bandit and I took a hike this week on part of the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway. My knee was (thankfully) feeling better but I wanted to play it a little safer and explore some of the beautiful areas the Hubby has explored.
It actually works out nicely, he hikes it when I am working and reports back places I’d enjoy.
It was a cool day and I had all the layers, water, map, trekking poles, etc. etc. so off we went. This part (section 4) passes through some beautiful farm land and I drove the first mile or so down the dirt road to the Class VI road.
I had a feeling of foreboding as we drove in, which I promptly tucked away because it was a gorgeous bluebird day and I was pumped to see the area. A beautiful lake on the way in, miles of mountains as a backdrop to the trees, I was ready for digging in and soaking up the day.
It was quite stunning. We passed 2 lovely old farms—“Lil Snowbound” and “Snowbound”—named according to the old practice of not plowing smaller roads in the winter thus leaving the homes snowbound. Blue skies, a carpet of leaves with no end, several inches thick and crisp air.
I am happy to report that I was clothed appropriately with multiple layers and my fleece lined leggings (THE bomb) and felt quite cozy in the 42degree weather. Of course, it helped that the prior day’s winds weren’t present!
Approximately 10 minutes into the hike I felt (and heard) something off to my right in the woods. Bandit also stopped and looked. The woods are straight sticks at this time of year and I looked and could see nothing. Now. This was a SIGNIFICANT “thump” followed by rapid retreating. But still. There was NO thing. I looked up, down, back, forward. Nada.
Considering that Bandit didn’t seem too concerned—-no hair on end or growling and that whatever the thump it was going AWAY from us, we soldiered on. In reality, it was probably a chubby chipmunk. One never knows.
Making our way through the leaves and down the trail, Bandit kept stopping and turning around staring at the trail. Again. And again. And again. Now. He always does this, but is generally off leash. There was a truck parked at the trailhead so I kept him leashed until we were a little further down the trail, but after the “large thump” heard earlier, my mind started to play. And I couldn’t shut it off. Even after I finished the Rosary.
After about 15 minutes of this walk, stop, stare, walk, stop, stare I stopped. Took some deep breaths and had a mini discussion with myself weighing my initial foreboding, the thump and Bandit’s kooky behavior and decided to go with my gut and end the hike.
I was disappointed but am learning to trust my instincts. Still not perfect (probably never will be!) but when I listen and act on my gut, it generally pays off. There’s no way to know what calamity I avoided by turning around—-maybe nothing at all—-probably nothing at all—but sometimes you have to trust.
On the way back to the car, as my trekking poles clinked their way down the path, once again, we felt/heard another “thump” and retreat with nary a sight to be seen. Co-workers say probably a moose, that a bear or deer would be quieter. I think I’d see a dang moose!!! Either way……hike ended. Next hike to be with a partner because I’m just a little scaredy-cat. And I’m ok with that.
Peace! Section 4, I’ll be back.