Blacklick Woods 5th of 19

The last time I visited Blacklick Woods, I went cross country skiing with some bike club friends. That was back in the day when we had enough snow to ski on. They even had skis to rent. Now you know how long ago that was.

On Monday, Dan and Dora and I got an early start to take advantage of the cooler morning air. Dan had looked up the routes of the various paths, but we chose to use one that was almost exactly one mile around. Because the trails presented no particular challenges, we had plenty of opportunity to talk about many of the issues in the news, and Dan did his usual great job of describing what was around us. Dan was intrigued with the different kinds of trees and the sense that we really were in the woods. But at one point, we walked to a clearing that opened up to a beautiful lake. The park benches looked inviting for taking a break, but we stopped only long enough for a photo op. The only paved paths were in front of the nature center or whatever they call their little building in the middle of the park. It was closed, and that was fine with us, although as we passed it, Dora took a hard right toward the door, presuming that’s where we wanted to go. But once on the path, no matter whether it was gravel, dirt, or a board walk, she knew exactly what we wanted to do. As we tromped along the board walk, Dora was very careful not to let me get too close to the right edge. She wasn’t going to let Mommy slip off the edge like she did at Innis Woods. Her confidence was impressive. When the board walk took a sharp left, we turned on a dime without slowing at all. Twice, a person was walking toward us, and Dan watched as the person stopped and stood at his right and let Dora have her right of way, right down the middle. Dora didn’t even think about giving up any of our space. She’s not that rude on a sidewalk in our neighborhood, but she was on a mission.

When we had done about 3.27 miles by repeating that trail, Dan commented that like the Audubon Park, a gigantic truck tire for people to test their upper body strength waited for the body-builders to come and show off their muscles. This time, I wanted to see what it was like. I quickly discovered that there was no way on this earth I could lift it even a centimeter off the ground. And that’s one goal I will never pursue, for the sake of my back. However, the long weighted ropes that people were lifting and slapping to the ground drew my attention and my wish to give them a try. Two of these heavy ropes were attached to a pole, and the object of the exercise was to grasp one in each hand and lift each one in turn and slap them one at a time to the ground. To my amazement, I was able to get in a few slaps, using a lot of body engagement. I’m sorry I don’t have a video for showing off, but Dan’s camera betrayed us and failed to work. Boohoo. Dan said we’ll have to go back and do it again some day, but I think once was enough. Who knows? Maybe we’ll encounter them in all the rest of the parks we visit in this project. We’ve visited 5 Metro Parks now. I can’t wait to get to the next one.

Mary Hiland

Author of

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir

And

Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life

Available at www.dldbooks.com/maryhiland

www.seeingitmyway.com

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