Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Great Outdoors—Idler's Rest

My goal for the summer, or as long as the weather is decent, is to go on one hike a week. A week or two ago my gentleman and I set off for a bit of land at the base of Moscow Mountain called Idler's Rest.

The Northwest side of Idler's Rest winds underneath trees and through meadows, as the forest slowly reclaims old farmland.

On one side of the road Idler's Rest is a section of interweaving trails through forest, and on the other side it's a trail or two through meadow and orchard. This path on the Northwest side of Idler's Rest winds through brush and tree, then through an old apple orchard. Early settlers grew apples to make into cider, but now, abandoned, the trees grow as they wish, the woods slowly growing in around them. In early August, little green apples covered the trees, sometimes dangling in our path like ornaments, sometimes making a canopy above us in dappled shades of green. The gentleman and I hope to go back when the apples are ripe and collect some to make our own cider.

The southeast section of Idler's Rest follows Paradise Creek, almost dry this time of year. Trails intertwine beneath cedar trees, over fallen logs, up hill and down. When we went, a number of young children, maybe 5 years old, were on field trip, and their laughter echoed through the forest. We came upon a group of children with a guardian, and an outgoing youngster exclaimed to us that they had found a bear's footprint. Running into another group, a little boy hunched his back and made claws of his fingers, telling a little girl they were going to find a bear. 

We headed uphill, occasionally finding a bench beside the path, stopping to look at the domed spiderwebs that were prevalent. We backtracked, crisscrossed, and then came out on a golden hillside of long grasses, private farmland bordering Idler's Rest. A baby bird rustled in the grasses in front of us, and we stepped back to watch its fellows swoop around it, us wondering if it had fallen from its nest. As we hiked back to the car, we found a plaque on a boulder saying that the site was dedicated to Jim Manis, who'd died in 1974 at only 19 years old, who had loved the outdoors. We surmised that he had died in the war, but research since then has revealed Jim Manis was actually a student who'd died in a car crash.

Idler's Rest is not a difficult nor a long hike, but a pleasant place to spend a couple hours, with just enough uphill to make you feel like you're getting a work-out. For more information, go here and here.

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