Friday, October 14, 2011

How To Get Lost On A Paved Path

This very rainy Fall season has forced my brother and I to keep postponing plans for hiking. We don't do rain. With yet another chance of rain, we debated heading upstate. He suggested that we instead head to the more local Alley Pond Park. I'd never been and had wanted to go, so I drove into Queens and he took the reins from there to the park's path entrance, which was a secluded dead-ended street off a highway. How he knew about this entrance, I don't know. I gathered my mini-backpack and snack, doused myself in bug spray, and we headed into the woods.

It was buggy and muggy, but not raining. We went up and down hills. When we came to a more intense slope, he went down first and I followed but stopped upon seeing a worm. It was the longest worm I'd ever seen ever. I let out a very loud, very appalled, EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. He was like, what? it's just wet dirt. I was like, noooooooooo, there's a woooooooorrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmm. Ah, yes, this is how close I am with nature.

After passing by the worm that miraculously did not attack me, I found that he'd led us to a clearing under a tree canopy that was absolutely gorgeous. I was like, Why aren't you taking pictures? He's an amateur photographer and his thing is landscapes. He responded, I already have pictures here. Of course he does. But after I took out my camera, he had his out and was snapping away.

He led us up some hills and then we came to a paved path. He explained that the hiking and biking paths started here, near a stone wall. That's when we started seeing other people. The park is really huge, so not seeing people is typical. Once you get into the more civilized part--the part with the pavement--you see more people.

When we got to the obstacle course and ball fields, we found the kind of people I least like to see: children. He was off from work for the day, so his plan wasn't to hang with children either (he teaches high school). Counselors and children were at different ropes and logs. One counselor was holding what I at first thought was a rubber chicken but turned out to be a rubber pig.

We found stone steps. We climbed up and then down. We found more paths. We wound around and around. The rain started coming down lightly, but then stopped only a few minutes later. We saw more children. Oh, wait, these were the same children. We passed the Science Discovery Center. We rounded around a path. We found a soccer field. We passed the Science Adventure and Discovery Center. Oh, wait, it's the same center.

Basically, after passing the same children over and over, after passing the same building, same stone steps, and same ball fields, we realized, hey, we're walking in circles. I said, you know, we have to actually get off of the pavement because we came in through the woods. Yes, true. After passing the obstacle course twice more, we took a sharp right off the path and into the trees.

Luckily, we were exactly where we needed to be. Phew! That was close! We could've gotten stuck in the middle of the very natural habitat of asphalt and camp counselors. Next time, I bring a compass.

No comments: