|mother and sons|
The brush stops us before we get to the ponds. A new approach will have to be tried on a later day. We retreat to the ravine and climb up the hill. Some of this is quite pleasant and easy, but eventually it turns into a steep wrestling match with the hill, the ferns, and the tangles of down branches. We get up to the woodpecker forest and then take a break. We sit and talk for a few minutes and then there is a thump...the beat of hooves on the hollow forest ground...and we look right to see the hind end of a mule deer just 15 yards off as it bounds in huge leaps downhill and away. Bounding in that terrain is mind boggling to me.
|mother and son|
We traverse the hill lower than last time. It is steeper with much more downed timber to cross. I cannot say that it is fun. The going is much easier up above, but we're not there. I even overshoot the descent towards the squatters cabin, the lower elevation hiding the shape of the river that signals the turn. For awhile I tell "K" that I know where we are...but then, standing among cedar stumps that I have never seen before, I know we are somewhere else. So, the next thing to do is to drop down on the road and figure out how far off we are. It turns out that we were 145 strides off...maybe 200 yards. But it is a spot I need to return to just to photograph the spectacular forest women that stand there. We never were lost, we just didn't know where we were. We never know where we are.