Near the end of October, the weather finally sent a hint of autumn. Within a week’s time, we saw 2 days of rain mid-week, a few days of sun and a nor’easter to finish up the month. The first rain was enough to push the bulk of green leaves to a golden brown, encouraging us to venture outside on one of those sunny days and head towards Mount Pleasant in Rockport. On Mount Pleasant Road, we soon found the trailhead for Mount Pleasant, as well as an alternate trail for Spruce Mountain, crossed the road towards our selected route and began our adventure.
The light was just right on this particular day that we stopped a number of times to take in the play of light through golden leaves. Perhaps it was the time of day, or maybe it was the time of year but there were several instances were a particular item was illuminated in such a way that we basked in the magic until the sun shifted and the moment was gone. The fuzzy remains of a flower was the one glowing item in an area cast in shadow. It felt good to be outdoors, experiencing the magic of the season.
Further on, we found two tree trunks with large boulders sitting on top of each trunk. It took us a moment, but once we realized that the trees had been cut, we surmised that the placement had to have occurred with human assistance. From this point, the trail became a bit narrower and wet. I could imagine that parts of the trail would be quite boggy in the spring.
In autumn, after a rain, we always forget that wet leaves cover wet rocks and there is a danger of slipping on the concealed stones. We managed just fine hiking along the leaf-covered path but then the trail went across a slanted ledge. I led the way across what appeared to be dry stone but soon slipped and fell and began sliding down the ledge. I managed to stop my slide but I could not figure out how to regain my footing and an upright position. Finally, I crawled across the ledge until I reached leaves and dirt once more, while my husband headed through the woods to avoid crossing the ledge. It wasn’t until were looking back at the stone from a different angle that we noticed the faint shadow of water heading down from the spot where I fell.
Safely on level ground, we continued on our journey until we reached a spot where there were views of a pond and mountains in the distance. The trail became more of a road at this point and we did not see any additional blue blazes. Assuming that we had reached the end of the trail system, we spent a few minutes studying the autumn landscape nearby and the fields below us before turning back the way we had come.
On the way down, we used my husband’s solution of pushing through the woods to avoid the wet ledge, returning to the trail when we deemed it safe to do so. Shortly after this point, I noticed some sticks on the ground that were covered in what appeared to be a rubbery like substance. I was intrigued by the curves and intricate design of what I later discovered was some kind of jelly fungus. After studying this fungus for a bit, we continued down the trail and soon reached the trailhead.
It had been a wonderful morning filled with inspiration and discoveries. A successful day indeed!