DOG DAYS ON GREENWAYS — Part Eleven

By Marion Brody Kelly

Good Boys

The dogs and I had two more greenways to visit when I woke up this morning, with only one week of vacation remaining.  After spending the first half of the day indulging my new hobby of bike riding on the greenways, I ushered Sam and Jake into the car and set off for Bethabara Greenway to savor the slower pace of a walk.

We entered the greenway at the end of Indiana Avenue and turned left.  A narrow wooden bridge took us over Monarcas Creek and into a heavily forested area.  These days the trees have turned into towering musical instruments, and the woods have become an orchestra ringing with the sounds of birds, insects, and frogs.  We stopped for a moment to listen to the summer symphony.   The leaves and flowers still have months to go, and the insects will buzz until the first frosts, but for teachers and children, summer is playing its finale.

Surrounded by yellow and orange flowers and accompanied by large yellow butterflies, we were passed by a few joggers and riders.  Reaching the end of paved trail at Old Town Road fairly quickly, we turned around for a longer look. 

The trail ran between the creek and the quiet sites of Historic Bethabara. Through the occasional gap in vegetation, we could glimpse stone foundations and wooden fences.  Except for the traffic sounds and telephone poles, we could have been walking through the 18th century.  The sense of being in the woods was stronger here than in any of the other greenways.  Simple wooden signs explain the types of wildlife that live here, making me want to see and know more.

We continued walking until we emerged at Old Town Drive, crossing in a hurry to avoid the traffic shooting around a blind curve.  On this side of the road, the greenway becomes a path through a wildlife preserve.  It wanders through dense trees and deep shade, and we seemed to have it to ourselves.  I would have liked to find a place to sit and watch for the birds and small animals, but Sam and Jake had no interest in stillness.  We walked until the path split to go around a wetland area, and then we headed back.

It had been a while since we visited a creek, and a wooden bridge leading to God’s Acre offered easy access to the lazy water.  We crossed, and I let Sam and Jake splash and play on their short leashes until they were well soaked.

As we left the trees for the parking lot, a man with a dog passed us heading into the woods.  It was nice to see another dog getting ready to enjoy the path. This was a beautiful, leisurely walk that took us about 60 minutes, including exploring some of the side paths.

We drove home, the dogs under strict orders not to sit in the seats with their wet smelly selves, and we did not stop until both of them were in the tub.  All useful scents now down the drain, they sleep off another adventure as I write.

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