Recent hikes have catalyzed an unexpected childhood memory – that of butterscotch candies with sun shining through.
Autumn’s woodlands are drenched now in butterscotch and honey, maple syrup, and occasional runnels of cranberry. A recent hike up Goat Hill (on the NJ side of the Delaware River) surrounded Fay Lachmann and me with feasts for the eye that triggered taste memory.
Another hue on every side was that of cinnamon sticks. When I’m in art-mode, of course, I say it’s pure Cezanne.
In the Delaware River Valley, we are blessed with outcroppings of basalt, direct connections to the beginnings of earth, of time.
This time-worn gateway beckons. Come, hike with us.
It’s a broad trail, a leaf-cushioned trek, a soundless journey.
Indians insist that rocks are alive, hold spirit, offer gifts to us. I could really feel the deity in this one.
But let me tell you where Goat Hill is. Over above the Delaware, on preserved land that will soon hold many additional fascinating trails. Off 29, onto Valley Road (look up Howell Living History Farm for directions — you’ll pass it on the way to the trails..) Left on Goat Hill Road, a winding drive that holds its own remarkable beauty. Left on George Washington Road. Park and walk. There are two picnic tables at the crest — bring bread to break with others, as you feast upon that view!
George Washington is said to have surveyed the river and enemy movements from this pinnacle, as did Lord Cornwallis.
The Delaware seems to stretch forever, a shimmering silk scarf dropped by a diva.
Why D&R Greenway and all our other regional non-profits work night and day to save nature!
This couple sat, rapt, upon this boulder, all the while we were exploring, the two of them high and silent above the river’s mellifluous rapids.
Other delicious sounds were that of crisp leaves underfoot, and whisper wind in leaves still on boughs overhead. One of the greatest gifts of this journey, however, was absolute silence.
I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear these vines at their twining.
These are not ‘the trails less traveled by’. Softly trodden trail tendrils lead in a number of directions from and at the crest. Views reward every exploration.
Three sentinels bid farewell.
This remarkable November trek is a fruit of preservation. Do everything you can to expand the reach of your own non-profits, so that wild nature can persist.