Low Gap

Went hiking with the entire family today. A five kilometer loop in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Beginning at the Low Gap Trail parking area and then looping back on what is called Rock Shelter Trail. When we got to the fork (10 miles or 3 miles?) I asked E.: “Long walk or short walk?” He voted for “short walk”. The last kilometer seemed extra long to him and so he began to protest: “Not the short walk, take the LONG walk!” Neurotypicals take note: let your short be short and your long be long.

All-in-all, it was fairly ordinary terrain, but I have been conditioned (or predisposed?) to resist the allure of the sublime anyway. Points of interest (there’s a phrase and how mundane!): an Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus), a stream bed of clay so “pure” that it seemed to be shale until one reached down to make a hand-print, and the “Rock Shelter” of the trail’s name. Although the latter appeared from a distance to be an entirely “nature”-made feature (a water-hewn overhang that arcs around a, roughly, 20 meter curve), closer inspection suggested some human tampering. Were those blasting holes that I saw? And the scalloped, semi-circular scrapings? Perhaps someone tried to make a “shelter” in this fragile sediment, layers peeling away.

The black raspberries are beginning to swell their hard green heads. (May 31, 2009)


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