Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy trails

First robin of the year? Check.
The joys of sticky mud and puddles and freshets? Check.
The ever-so-slight flush of sunburn on my face? Check.
Stripping down to a tanktop for the first time since September? Check.

We were out of town by ten. Bagels, Car Talk, windows down, it was everything a precocious March Saturday should be. My greatest desire, yesterday morning, was to go to a place where we could walk as long and as far as we wanted, without stopping or needing to slow down. This meant no crosswalks, no stoplights, no piddly little nature-walk loops. We headed for the Catskill Scenic Trail, a reclaimed abandoned railbed near my hometown. Had we so desired, we could've walked all nineteen miles of it without stopping once.

First blisters of the year? Check.

I was booking. The sun was out, the birds were singing, and the trail stretched enticingly around the next bend. Rail trails are such wonderful, easy walking. This particular one rolls through lots of cornfields and cow pastures, along the West Branch of the Delaware River, and through a lot of farms' backyards. There were roosters crowing and horses watching inquisitively from their fencelines. Along the river, we met flocks of mergansers diving for fish.

With the gush and burble of the river, the mergansers and the birdsong, it was easy to pretend. I know there will be more snow, more sub-freezing nights. There's plenty more freezing rain and sleet in store for us, before we can unfasten our storm windows and fold away our sweaters. But yesterday, for three glorious hours, I was strolling along under the sunny sky in a tanktop, and by that charmed chance, the next few weeks will be bearable, after all.


Liz said...

What a beautiful post! I love this time of year.

Kristina said...

Liz-- I hope you're getting plenty of tanktop weather where you are, too!

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