Saturday I dodged the rain and went to Beaman Park in between cloudbursts. It's seriously beautiful up there in the northwest corner of Davidson County, and it's particularly weird to think of it as still being Metro Nashville, which it is. You get the bad with the good: right outside the park entrance there's a trailer on cinder blocks in the creek bottom with (I'm not exaggerating) ten pit bulls, each permanently chained to a different doghouse, each placed just far enough from the other ones that they can't interact. They just sit there like fearsome quiet sentries, guarding their little shingled homemade huts.
The morning rain had Henry Creek running fairly high and all the side streams cascaded prettily into it, making me need to pee about every seven steps. I was breaking in new hiking boots and also testing out my new hiking stick-a-ma-bob. Spring hasn't quite sprung yet - I did see some reindeer moss and there were some Christmas ferns that did a good job holding over the winter, but not much else was budding up, even the trees. Whereas the trees in my yard are covered with buds. These redneck trees know something is up! They're staying clammed up. My hiking stick has a compass on it and I was very surprsed to see that nine times out of ten in these particular woods, moss did only grow on the north sides of the trees. So that was one thing I thought was an old wives' tale that wasn't. And really: don't leave any comments about how you know otherwise. I don't really care and I will delete them. Let's face it: if I wanted to read other peoples' opinions about this particular issue, I would read their blogs about moss!
It was a 2.1 mile hike - the Henry Hollow loop - and not hard at all, even though there is some significant vertical terrain. I admit that before, I could never really figure out why they called a hollow a hollow, but it's plain as day to me now. You really do see it when you're there - a steep hillside with a wide swooping curve, as if it had been hollowed out with trowel. I didn't see other people at all, which was fine because once again, alone in the woods, I had that "this would be a good place for a murder" feeling.
The next day, Sunday - THE LORD'S DAY - I went again to do the same hike with my hiking friend Carol, who also just helped Sister Meg and me refinance our house so she is directly responsible for my giant bathtub full of twenty-dollar bills. We are trying to hike every week and when Chicago Meg gets back from Gulf Shores, I think we're going to enlist her as well in what I am now calling the Saturday Morning Hiking, Bowling, Brunching and Cribbage Club. We will do ONE of those things every Saturday morning. But! That's putting the cart before the horse! And no you can't be in the club! It's by invitation only. ANYWAY! Carol was as taken with Beaman Park as I am. Next week, we're going to go do the same hike again, with another loop added on for a total of 6 miles. I think it might be cool to do this hike every week because we can monitor spring. There's supposed to be a goodly number of yellow lady's slipper out there and that I would like to see.
After our hike/gossip, we went to the new Red Robin, even though I am pretty anti-chain restaurant but I really wanted a hamburger, where I had a pot roast sandwich, which is not a hamburger at all, I KNOW, but at least I didn't have a chicken sandwich like Carol did, which I am convinced she only ordered because there was a picture of it on the menu and that way she didn't have to read all the other five-thousand descriptions of items they had. In addition to the pot roast sandwich experience, a large red plastic chicken menaced me from across the room - just look! HIS EYES ARE STARING RIGHT AT ME!. Though Carol pointed out sometime later that it was probably not a chicken at all but instead a red robin since we were at, you know, RED ROBIN and suddenly that made a lot more sense. Though in a way no sense at all; there's still no explanation about why this giant red robin was threatening me, though I admit robins seem less instantly terrifying than chickens do. Then we went to World Market (my third time in four days!) because she hadn't been there yet and then wa-la, that was the end of this meeting of the Saturday Morning Hiking, Bowling, Brunching and Cribbage Club. Except this time it met on a Sunday. Hmmm. I think I have some things to work out about this club still.