Day 249: Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key

The crash site is on route 45 west of Lewisburg near the Hairy John Picnic Area in the Woodward Narrows. The Midstate Trail runs right next to the picnic area.  I have hiked the Midtstate Trail several times at the same spot. I take Toby with me. We have seen turkeys, deer, and giant rattlesnakes. We walked one summer day along the trail and saw a little branch of leaves turning red in August, the first sign of the impending autumn.

Last summer, Miles, Connor, and I walked a different part of the Midstate Trail. Miles spotted a little tiny snake.  I walked right by it and did not even notice it, but Miles saw it. The three of us had a nice walk and conversation late in the afternoon. We left after I got off work and went up there real fast just to get a short hike in. Miles was always ready to get up and go.

Hairy John was a hermit who lived in the forest near what is now the picnic area.  He lived near the pond where he fished. I do not know much about Hairy John. He is a local legend, but he is no longer known very well so many years after his death.

I imagine there are spirits sometimes. I imagine the Totoros in the forest and the energy of many unknown people and animals over the millennia who have walked the road before it was a road, drew water from the pond, or stopped nearby for the night on a journey into the woods.  Indians and explorers.  Settlers and runaways. A truck driver who died at the same spot on route 45. It is an idle fantasy. It is where my mind goes.  I know it’s not real. But I imagine Miles and Hairy John sitting down to chat by his fire and tell stories, swap ideas, share memories.

It’s not real. It’s just imagination and it’s something small I can pretend is real.

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