November 16, 2008

The Frozen Swamp "Trail" Expedition

So yesterday we decided to take our neighbor's advice and go for a nature walk through the woods into town. Our neighbor, Nantia, lives just down the street from us and has a large spread with a great view of the mountains (we seem to be the only people in Homer who don't have a view of the mountains). Nantia also has several animals on her property, including goats, roosters, a pair of surly geese and a legion of noisy ducks who follow the geese like cult worshippers. 

We put on our boots and warm clothes and loaded Otto, bundled up in his snowsuit, into the baby backpack before we set off on  our adventure. First, we went to Nantia's house, where we ran into her and her son. Nantia gave us general directions on how to take the trail leading away from her house into town.

Maybe we should've taken the "No Trespassing" sign as a ... um ... sign.

The duck zealots and their geese dictators are aggressive and must be warded off with a spruce branch (Nova took care of this while I cowered in fear behind her).

We stopped briefly to say hi to the goats before heading into the unknown.

"Just follow the sewer line trail," said Nantia.

So we did, and learned pretty quickly how swampy the terrain was. It would be impassable in the summer (unless one were to employ hipwaders, maybe) but was frozen enough to have a stable, walkable crust of ice on top of standing water. I would soon find out just how deep the water was.

This abandoned minibike kind of seemed like a bad omen, too.

After following the sewer line path for awhile, it just sort of petered out and we had to start choosing from a selection of game trails. We tried to stick close to the woodline (we were getting closer to Beluga Lake, which we could see in the distance) and maintain a west by northwesterly direction.

Although we weren't carrying a compass, we were never in danger of becoming lost in the thick woods and swampland, as we could see the bright Sun to our left and the Homer bench to our right. When we started to catch glimpses of Beluga Lake, we decided to head in it's direction, with the thought that we could travel more easily on the lake than we could on the increasingly unstable swamp ice.

When we came out of the woods and into the marsh surrounding Beluga Lake (pictured above) the view improved and the footing worsened. Right at the moment I was warning Nova to be careful of thin ice, my right foot broke through and Kersploosh! ... I was in the ice cold water up to my knee.


We decided to turn back and go the way we came, with the hopes of finding an alternate trail into town. My foot was wet but not too cold so I decided I could make it into town and maybe pick up a pair of dry socks at Ulmer's. After about an hour of trying various trails through all kinds of terrain, we ended up at Paul Banks Elementary School.

So we decided to play on the swings for a little while.

And the slide.

And then we said "screw it" and took the road back home, where we took naps and had Hamburger Helper for dinner. 

So we didn't complete our goal of taking the backwoods into town on a Saturday afternoon, but we did see our friend Nantia, played with some goats, walked through a quiet forest and saw some terrific scenery on the shores of Beluga Lake. 


pamelita said...

sweet story, you three walkin and being brave-like.

Aaron Selbig said...

Yes, we were very courageous! ;-)

angela said...

Glad I found you blog. You have been missed up here.
How's your leg? Was the one with the bad tendon the one that went in the water?

If you can, go to the Gomez-Pena, Luna performance at Bunnell. I wish I could be there. More to watch the reactions of the Homerites than the show.

Take care and give a call if you come to town.

Aaron Selbig said...

Do that, Angela. Look us up if you're in town and you've got a place to stay if you need one. It would be good to see you.

My leg is all better (mostly). It's still stiff and the strength isn't all the way back, but it's much. much better. And no ... luckily it was the other leg that slipped into the drink.

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