Week of Winter Walking: Day Six

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deer on Heritage Trail

My step-daughter communing with a deer in the distance

Day Six in my Week of Winter Walking and the weather is still…crappy. Tomorrow, I promise you warmer weather with my Day Seven special guest post, which will be coming from a warmer climate than southern Indiana. But today, it was snowing, people! Snowing! And I was seriously contemplating whether an indoor winter stroll, perhaps a slow browse around the shelves of Village Lights Bookstore, might not qualify as a winter walk. Thankfully, I was saved by the energy of youth.

Today’s walk was later in the day because I waited for my step-daughter to get home from school and asked her where she might like to walk. She chose the Heritage Trail and led the way. Having never been on the Heritage Trail myself, my step-daughter had that added satisfaction of being able to tell a parent where to go. Don’t you remember how nice it was as a child to know more about something than your parents did?

deer in Madison

The deer

It was, in fact, sleeting or snowing or doing something in a nasty winter vein as we headed up the trail, but not enough to provide any real deterrence. As we rounded one corner, my step-daughter spotted a deer munching on the hillside. We crept up on it undetected for a while, and then the deer turned to take us in. At this point, my step-daughter engaged in some elaborate attempts to communicate with the deer using hand signals and perhaps, facial expressions (I couldn’t see as she was turned the other way). After watching this entertaining show for a while, the deer lifted her white tail and bounded away down the hill. We could see her and a few other deer traipsing down the hillside, disappearing completely into the woods whenever they stopped moving.

As I’ve written before, I grew up in the country myself and I sometimes wonder if my step-daughter isn’t missing out by being a city girl. It was nice to see her enjoying something like staring down a deer or showing me the huge stone cliff towards the top of the trail. I’m happy to report that she wanted to climb the cliff, as well as the steep sides of the hill along the trail, and to venture into the railway tunnel at the bottom of the trail. These activities we saved for warmer weather (and a more rugged pair of shoes than she was wearing). She did engage in the infinitely satisfying activity of throwing a large stick into the creek, as well as dipping a finger in to see how cold the water really was.

Madison railroad bridgeWalking back up to the street it was again like returning to a different world. The streets of Madison are lovely, but not quite the world apart you get when you head up into the woods. It was a good thing this afternoon to be able to take that journey together. Walking along the trail with my step-daughter, we hardly noticed the cold at all.

Yes, there are more pictures of our walk along Heritage Trail on my Facebook page.

Tomorrow is the big finale of the Week of Winter Walking, with the extra special guest post from a super secret, yet-to-be-revealed location, where it is warm and free of snow!  Don’t miss it!

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