Tuesday, July 21, 2009


When we were on Sucia, I kept saying "can we just go down this trail? How about this one? Just a little way?" Ian finally said that, if there was one thing he'd learned about me in the last 8 years, it's that I always want to see what's around the next bend. This is certainly true out here, where the woods and usta-woods are criss-crossed with trails. I like to see what's around the next bend on foot, and I like to see what's around the next bend on horseback. I choose to believe that it's never going to be a bear around the next bend.

Today, the dogs and I tried something new, which paid off beautifully. I remembered seeing a numbered Forest Service road somewhere up Gold Hill along the (state? county?) Jerome Creek road, and so we all piled into the car and drove up to it, where we left the car parked off on the side of the road and set out on foot. We walked for about 2 hours, passing woods and springs. We saw what I believe was a firepit, or at least a ring of stones where a firepit might have been (come to think of it, there was no evidence of ash, but then, the stones were no longer quite a ring). We also located what I believe to be a connector route for a long horseback ride, later on when I'm here in September with other riders. And most importantly, I finally made a successful complete circuit of the JC road, and discovered many other Forest Service roads that will need to be explored in the upcoming days. Never time to be bored here!

The possible connector trail . . .

Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I chose both of them, and got very tired.

Even this pristine wilderness isn't pristine. It's far worse than litter in the city, because there are maybe only 20 people who travel this way in a year. Shame on you.

Back at the car.
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Robert said...

Hello Calin,

What's a "usta-woods"? Is that a clearcut area that used to ("usta"?) be a wood?

-- Robert V.

CMT said...

Yes, years ago, I accidentally coined the term "usta" to describe something that no longer lives, but used to. As in, "my mom's usta-dog, Pepper." It seemed fortuitous.

Robert said...

Thanks for the explanation. It seems like a useful term. I could have used it in eighth-grade social studies today to describe Montesquieu's status by the time of the Constitutional Convention, had I known.

Robert V.