A Portrait of Stryker, Alias LGK
My husband and I had plans to spend the day in the woods, but as we stepped out the front door with our things in our arms to load the car, there was the neighbor kitty Stryker, alias LGK (Little Gray Kitty), stopping by for a visit!
So I put my stuff down and sat and played with him for a little while, and took some pictures. This one was the best. I think it is a fine portrait of this special visitor who has helped provide much-needed doses of "cat time" to those of us who at present have no cat. So we are grateful.
But then we did get into our car and head for the woods, armed with sandwiches and chairs and our daysacks and boots. We ended up in the woods of Moshannon State Forest, just above Blackie (as the locals call Black Moshannon).
Finding a place to put the car was the first challenge, as the main parking lot was a sheet of melting ice, littered with garbage and (yuck) extraordinary amounts of dog poo. We usually park in a special spot off by itself just above the gate, but there was no way we could safely hoss the Impala down onto that ice and slide it into place, let alone hope to get it back out again!
So we parked in the main parking lot, and as soon as we turned the car off, I opened my door. The stench hit me right away! I looked over to see bags of rotting deer parts someone had tossed into the woods from the parking lot. Classy move, folks. Real classy move.
And then we headed down the dirt road that was covered, alternately, in melting snow and ice, mud, and rivers of water. There are two things that are tough to hike in. One is wet sand, and I've done that. But for my money, melting snow is worse, because it has that grainy, crystalline quality that can turn slippery at a moment's notice and suddenly toss you off to the side.
We walked a ways down that road (which you may see in the extras) and then took a turn and headed straight up the hill. We found a sunny spot to sit on the hill and it was lovely but turned very BLUSTERY, as a March day is often wont to do. A real Winnie-the-Pooh sort of day!
Finally, at afternoon's end, we walked down from the hill top to the main gravel road and then back up to our car. We were surprised when two young women with backpacking gear on came down the hill (lightweight gear, to be sure, none of the big heavy retro stuff WE carry), followed by one older man with similar gear. Were they together? Spending the night? Apart? Who even knows?
Should you go out to the PA woods in March, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. In town, the snow may look melted, and you may THINK it's time to get out to the big woods and walk for miles, but it is a sloppy, melty, icy mess in spots in the woods. Select your boots accordingly. Accept the possibility that you may not get as far, as fast, as you wish you could. Have patience.
2. It is colder in the woods than it is in town. Bring one more layer than you thought you'd need. It's March, so it's likely to be breezy. Bring a wind jacket.
3. Parking may be a challenge. The winter thaw is on. Be alert for melting dog poo and rotting deer parts in and around the parking lot. Park so that you can simply let the weight of the car pull itself down and out at day's end. Check your boots before you get in the car to be sure you didn't step in anything nasty in that parking lot. This sounds gross but you will thank me!
So there was a day's spring adventure. There are two soundtrack songs, one for the cat photo - Def Leppard, with Photograph - and one for the windy day in the woods - the Association, with Windy.
P.S. This is also the one-year anniversary of The Last Normal Day. On March 12, 2020, my husband and I took a fun little road trip and did a bunch of things. Then our world turned upside-down with the Covid lockdown. And yes, I SHOULD have bought those Christmas ornaments (photo in the extras from that day).