Monday, October 24, 2011

A Walk In The Woods

My sister, Andi, the adventurous second-born, has a rather unusual hobby. No cooking, knitting or sewing for her...Andi prefers to express her creativity outdoors...making trails. Give her a pair of big rubber boots, a few dead trees, and a wheelbarrow (or sled in the winter) and she is transformed into a modern day Sakajawea, building trails that would have made Lewis and Clark proud.


I'm not sure how this trail-making thing got started (maybe we made a few too many "forts" in the backyard as kids?) but Andi has been adding to her labyrinth for a few years now.  Every trail is thoughtfully marked with a hand-painted sign to help her stupid sisters woodland visitors find their way. The only sign that seems to be missing is one that says "This Way Out".


The trails begin in the woods behind Andi's house. Her home is beautifully decorated and you wouldn't know by looking at it that she turns into a rough 'n tumble mountain woman once she heads outdoors.  What I do know is that if Lewis and Clark ever need to get to LL Bean for new hiking boots, they'll be all set...Andi's trails will no doubt connect to the Freeport retail store soon.

This is Andi luring her unsuspecting sisters into the maze. She says that the trail map is "in her head"...she has yet to draw it out for us in case we get lost. But I did find a close approximation on line...


The first few miles yards of the trail directed us to the "Woodpecker Tree". That's our youngest sister, Joanne, and her husband at the beginning of the yesterday's wilderness adventure (I can tell it's the beginning because they're both still smiling).


We did eventually arrive at the Woodpecker Tree...full of holes (as advertised).


Soon we came to the first of Andi's many "bridges". Crossing them is not for the faint of heart. She has created bridges from scraps of wood and old pallets found at the dump. All by herself, she has dragged all this stuff through the woods and into position. They are somewhat rickety affairs but, after all, what's a missing board or two between sisters?


I'm not sure if these bridges are a testament to my sister's engineering abilities or to her sheer determination to single-handedly conquer every last acre of the 100 Acre Woods. We must have gone two miles by now and you may notice that my sister Joanne's smile is beginning to fade.


Since no one had planned on a hike yesterday, we were not exactly dressed for the wilderness. I had on summer sandals and Joanne, always the fashionista of the sisterhood, had on a hand-painted pair of these...

                                             


I think we had figured we'd be spending the afternoon sipping Pumpkin Lattes at Starbucks instead of requalifying for our Girl Scout Hiking Badges. So, by this point on our adventure, we were all relieved to see this encouraging sign ahead...


But, alas, no such luck... Andi triple dog-dared us to make it to the top of "Turkey Hill". After all, what are sister's for?


She had even carved steps into the hillside to ease the way.


Andi promised that when we got to the top, we would probably see a flock of wild turkeys. I'm pretty sure the only turkeys out there at that point were her sisters...and we were getting a little wild by then.


What goes up, must come down. Joanne is definitely not smiling anymore...


While Andi hasn't broken a sweat. Maybe it's the shoes?


Eventually, we come to another sign...


And, after another mile or so, finally make it to the "Big Tree". If we look happy here it's because we knew we had almost made it out of the woods. Andi assured us that it was only a quick trip (over 50 feet of swaying pallets with pond water beneath) to the end of the trail. 


And the snake...well... he was little and you could hardly see him beneath all the leaves anyway.


 Just another quiet Sunday with my sisters (safely back at Mom's)...


Nancy is surely having a good laugh at us right about now!

"When you see someone putting on their Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh



8 comments:

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This has me smiling. I love all the markers and trails and I know you had fun.
hugs, Linda

Pamela Gordon said...

Oh My, what a fun post and a very fun hike in the woods you all had! I chuckled at your wit Cheryl. I would enjoy a hike like that and your sister has done a super job of builing the trails for you to enjoy. I don't think you'd get lost with all the sign markers. Have a great day! Pam

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

It's a good thing the snake was at the tail end of the hike!

Cindy said...

What a fun day! This had me laughing - thanks for sharing! One of my favorite things to do is hike in the woods. I'm afraid I'm like your sister - not much of a cook and can't sew! lol
Hugs, Cindy

Claudia said...

What a fun way to explore the woods! We have a trail through our little portion of woods. My husband put it in a few years ago. Unfortunately, it hasn't been maintained because he doesn't want to get bit by ticks. (He's had Lyme Disease.) But I think I will try to get it back in shape this spring.

xo
Claudia

Kathy said...

I'm very proud of all of you, but most proud of Joanne for not spilling her beer (don't tell me it was a soda!)...she hung on to it like it was her lifeline!!!

Love, Kathy

Anonymous said...

Kathy, It was my other vice, Diet Dr. Pepper !

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

And your whole family still lives nearby? That looks like fun, but I can't help but wonder about bears. Don't you have bears in the woods up there?