Monday, November 14, 2016

Rainy Day at Contrary Creek, Et. Al.

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary. . . .

. . . . Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

                                               ---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Yup, rain must fall, and that is precisely what it is doing this Monday morning.  

That's also precisely what it did almost the minute Bill and I loaded up the dogs to go on an afternoon outing yesterday to the Trail Creek area near Naples. 

When we climbed into the pickup at the Lovestead, it was dry and cloudy.  By the time we started north on our South Center Valley Road, raindrops were pelting the wind shield.

I commented that I had not brought along a coat.  Bill offered to go back, but I suggested we just drive on and see what happened.  After all, this unexpected shower might last just a moment.

Well, the rain kept falling, even more vigorously as we came closer to the Trail Creek turn-off from HWY 95. 

Oh, well, I thought.  This will be just a Sunday drive with no hiking. As we moved on up the road and turned off on a road which Bill said comes out at Twenty Mile Road, my desire for fresh air and a chance to do a little walking intensified with the moisture.

Finally, Bill stopped to get a map from the his pack in the pickup box.

"I'm gonna just walk while you look at your map," I said.  Liam whined, like always, as I left the pickup with my camera stuffed inside my vest. 

I rounded the corner and walked on the uphill to another bend before Bill and the dogs caught up.  At that point, I could hear water flowing. A lovely little creek wound its way through the shaded area on the lower side of the road.

So, at the bend, I walked upward to snap a few shots of the series of mini waterfalls coming from hillside above, making their way downward through a culvert the stretch below the road. 

On rainy days, we have to put in a little extra effort to find the beauty, but it's there.  I found it in this creek, which Bill, the map aficionado, told me was named "Contrary Creek."  

Well, it didn't look too contrary to me except to defy the general gloom in the air and all around that wet, increasingly muddy road. 

We moved up the road a ways, meeting another rig.  Many rigs with shaded windows happened to be traveling that road yesterday.  After all, it's hunting season.

A little further up the road, another road with a gate took off to the north, so we parked, and in spite of the rain, decided to take off for a walk.  This time Liam had his EZ walk collar on, and a few minutes later, I was quite happy that he did.

We walked a ways up the road.  Liam and I had the lead while Bill and the other two dogs (Foster on leash and Kiwi running free) were not far behind us. 

I heard something in the bushes.  At that same instant, Liam suddenly stuck his laser-sharp nose into the air. Half a second later, a big dark moose came around the bend. Liam lunged forward as I executed a precise 180, starting back toward Bill. 

"Oh no," I said, as Liam continued barking and trying to drag me toward the moose.

Must have been the surprised critter was just as precise as I at switching into reverse cuz Bill never saw it.  Liam continued to let it know emphatically that he'd like to herd it. 

Thank God for EZ walk collars.  I told Bill that if he had been on leash with his regular collar, my arm would be separated from the socket and Liam would be separated from me in hot pursuit. 

Anyway, he finally shut up as we walked further into the rain.  Turned out pretty neat too, even though clouds and fog hovered all around.   

Soon, we came upon a well designed and nicely constructed shelter, topped with branches and a camouflage tarp, alongside the road next to a couple of blocks of wood and a fire pit.  

So, we walked inside, inspecting the interior which included a neatly stacked pile of wood in the corner.  A pathway into the woods extended from one end of the shelter as the other looked opened to the road. A row of trees across from the shelter provided a slight barrier to a wide open hillside, perfect for spotting game. 

Someone had put a lot of work and thought into this shelter.  We were impressed.

We walked a little ways further, but my vest was getting pretty wet, so we turned around. Bill, the facts and figures man, reported that our round trip walk turned out to be 1.5 miles---a lot further than we had originally anticipated but very, very satisfying. 

We arrived home in time to take care of horses, round up some munchies and watch a phenomenal football game where the Seahawks scored an impressive victory.  Go, Hawks.

Great afternoon interlude in spite of the gloom.  

And, we have a big game on tap tonight when the ZAGS take on a formidable opponent San Diego State-----9 p.m.  ESPN-2.  GO, ZAGS!!!

Happy Monday.  Stay dry. 

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