That is to say, as soon as I entered Fall Creek Falls State Park yesterday I was without phone and internet service until I left again this morning. And while the day was a bit warmer in the morning, it was also grey and drizzly. As a matter of fact, I woke up in the night feeling that it had warmed up (my face no longer stung from the cold) and shortly thereafter I heard that telltale pitter patter as raindrops struck the nylon fly of the tent. Before I panicked about packing up a wet tent, I reminded myself of the story I had read just that morning about a Chinese farmer, the moral of which being that you never know when something is going to be a blessing or a curse. It is a fact and you should wait to see what happens. So, I thought, trying to get comfortable on my sleeping pad, I will wait to see what happens. Sure enough, the rain stopped before dawn and the tent dried out before I had to pack it.

The eponymous falls

The eponymous falls

The next day remained grey and threatened rain, but it cleared up by nightfall and proceeded to get cold and windy. I could hear the hickory nuts dropping around me (and on the car and tent) like miniature bombs. I was fortunate enough, though, not to be hit directly.

So, yesterday, I hiked a new trail at the park that ambled through the woods before following the shores of a lake. It was named after a Civil War artist named Gilbert Gaul, who had lived in the area. Despite the grey, the 4-plus miles was a lovely walk. It reminded me (minus the hemlocks) of walks I used to take in the woods behind Briarpatch, our former home in Pike County. The highlight of that hike was the feather I found. I’m pretty sure it belongs to a Red-tail Hawk, but I could be wrong. Either way, it made me happy.

Rémy regards my find. A bird that big could carry him away!

Rémy regards my find. A bird that big could carry him away!

Today, I drove to Old Stone Fort State Park and hiked the self-guided trail around what was once a Native American fort between the forks of the Little Duck and Duck Rivers. The fort was used ceremonially as well as for protection. And, in the afternoon, I opted for an old paved trail that traversed a meadow alongside the Duck River. The picture makes it look like it was a beautiful day but it was actually cold and windy—I was wearing a silk long john shirt, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a pile pullover AND a raincoat. Did I say that I get cold easily? There’s a reason I live in a warm place.

The paved path . . .

The paved path . . .

Speaking of which, I may be sleeping in my car tonight. It’s supposed to drop into the 30s again and while I can stay warm in my sleeping bag, my Raynaud’s makes my fingers useless once I’m out in the open. I barely got the tent packed away this morning. Definitely something I am seriously considering . . .

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