Sigh … will I ever learn?
Once again I fell under the spell of the weather forecasters, taking their respective forecasts as gospel, and planning my weekend activities around the snow and slush predictions. But, in my defense, it was not just one weatherman, but several, as well as the National Weather Service for Detroit – they ALL predicted an inch or two of slushy snow for this morning and melting around noon. Why wouldn’t I think that would occur? After all, the Tigers/White Sox baseball game was cancelled yesterday due to heavy snow in Chicago.
So, I decided to live dangerously and forego setting my alarm, figuring I would opt for an afternoon walk instead. I awoke at 8:00 a.m., put the radio news on and climbed back into bed, listening out of one ear to hear just how many inches of snow we got. Neither the newscast, traffic report nor the weather report mentioned snow, so I assumed correctly that it never arrived. I shot out of bed, ran to the front window and it was a bright-and-sunny, snow-free morn! I had breakfast and figured I’d best get on the road soon to get a long walk in and this blog post written.
My first stop was at Council Point Park.
I was later than usual and my furry friends usually don’t let me forget my tardiness. I was halfway around the first loop before the first squirrel ventured out – c’mon guys, cut me some slack already! Even Parker wasn’t his usual cheerful self.
I only went around one loop (one mile) as I wanted to try out a park in Dearborn and it is a five-mile-long trail. I was indeed mindful of all the rain we got the past few days and last night it was pouring hard when I went to bed. I’ve been reluctant to try any new parks with this incessant rain as I’m not a big fan of walking on muddy trails, but I decided to give it a go anyway.
Next up was Ford Field Park in Dearborn, Michigan.
I’d never visited this park before, despite the fact that I thought I was familiar with the Dearborn area, having attended Henry Ford Community College in the 70s, but, after consulting a map before I left, I discovered it was just two miles away from that school.
Here was my initial look at Ford Field Park when stepping out of the car. I was treated to a view of the willow trees that grace the banks of the Rouge River.
I decided to start my trek across this wooden footbridge …
… that crosses the Rouge River, where the water was gurgling and churning fast and furiously.
I crossed that footbridge and there was a fork in the road – hmm, do I go left or right?
To the right I saw two young guys walking toward me, so I called out and asked if it was muddy on the trail? “Yes, very” was the answer, so the left was the way to go in my opinion.
Quickly I realized this route wasn’t much better, judging from the soggy and waterlogged trail.
I hopped, stepped and jumped around the muddy grass and gravel, but ahead looked much more promising, so I slogged away toward a drier, gravel path.
I always enjoy crossing and taking photos of covered bridges. I knew there were two in Ford Field Park – this is the first one.
I heard cheeps and chirps from the bridge’s high ceiling and looked for swallows or nests, but saw none, so these birds were likely hiding in the rafters.
I am sure I bypassed the best portion of this five-mile trail by choosing the path to the left, but I went on anyway.
There was a little pond and the sun was shining down on a pair of mallards that snoozed away, seemingly not mindful of the twigs that crunched beneath my heavy walking shoes as I approached them.
Nearby, a Pekin duck and a pair of Hybrid Mallards also napped, although the Pekin duck peeked at me to ensure I was keeping my distance and did not pose a threat to the trio’s morning snooze. (Just wondering … would this be a peekin’ Pekin?)
Obviously their radar was up, because, as I approached them, they awoke and swam away, with the Mallard Hybrid casting a sideways glance my way for interrupting their nap.
There was another covered bridge which you see pictured up top, and I trekked across it, then meandered around a little more. The water was moving quickly here too as you can see in this photo.
I saw this male robin and it was singing such a beautiful birdsong. He stopped to catch his breath, so I whistled at him. He looked around, perhaps eager for a friend, or a mate, then discovered it was just me; he looked disgruntled and lost interest in singing and flew away.
All too soon I was back at the wooden footbridge, so I decided to just head back to the car. I knew I had not gone too many miles and glanced at the pedometer, and I had only walked about four miles. I am lagging behind in my miles due to our soggy Spring, so I just walked around the length of the dry and boring, paved parking lot to get a few more miles under my belt.
You’ll notice that very few trees were out in this park – the willows were not totally leafed out yet either, however, driving home from Dearborn, it was a beautiful sight. There are many trees in this city, and a canopy of green welcomed me as I traveled down Outer Drive. The magnolias and flowering trees are now all in bloom and a blue sky made it a picture-perfect day. I will return to this park when it is not soggy and check out the trail.