The most important event of the weekend was without doubt my middle daughter’s senior prom. It is, I am certain, already very adequately documented on Facebook. And since this is a blog about trails and escape, I am going to write about activities that took place either side of shuttling her from pre-prom to prom and then on to post-prom. It was National Trails Day on Saturday and Connecticut Trails Day Weekend as well.
On Saturday morning we (that is Norwalk River Valley Trail volunteers) led the public along the new stretch of trail we hacked on May 4th. The public was four brave men and women undaunted by temperatures already over 80 at 10.00 in the morning, or by our warnings of loose riverbank, poison ivy and – possibly – wet feet. I was delighted that 75% of the party – fully three people – had turned up this morning after reading my article in The Hour about the May 4th work.
I had worried about how people would react to our trail, but need not have. Once we passed the junk and urban art under the Route 7 bridges and clambered down to the river, everyone agreed what a great pity it is that this stretch of river has been inaccessible for so long. One member of the group remembered how, before the Army Corps of Engineers channeled the river after the floods of 1955, Norwalkers fished here for trout and skated on a riverside pond.
We emerged from the woods onto Riverside Avenue and waited an age for the lights to grant mere pedestrians a few seconds to jog across New Canaan Avenue. A passenger in a stopped SUV shouted over at us, “You on that hike up the river? Yeah! I saw the article in the paper.” We invited him to join us. “Uh, maybe next week.” Still, this further recognition gave the last, sweaty leg to Deering Pond a pleasant glow for me. The Silvermine and Norwalk rivers meet at Deering Pond and, despite the nearby highway and overhead power lines, it is an attractive place. It was inhabited by a wader that I took to be a white heron. I wish my camera was capable of a better picture.
On Sunday, a little tired from the shuttling and emotions of the prom, I went with my youngest to a work day at the Devil’s Den. It was hard labor. For two hours we dug, hacked and scraped away at hard ground to build water bars on the Den Trail. I hope they worked well today when the heavens opened.