Hiking and Halloween

dadI am twelve years old and this is Halloween week-end. All week long, my friends at school have talked about trick or treating. We don’t do Halloween in Greenwood Center..at least my brothers and I don’t.  I took my younger brother, Curt, last  year because Ma said we could go to Gram Martin’s and to Charlie and Grace Day’s house and that was all. I was not to ask, but Curt could because he was “little”. We each got a big, fat cookie from Grammy Martin and a bright shiny apple at “Aunt” Gracie’s.  This year, for some reason, Curt doesn’t want to go. I think he just wanted to see what all the hoopla was about and once he went, loved the goodies, but doesn’t want to go again.  We don’t even have a pumpkin to carve into a jack o’lantern, but that’s ok. I can’t carve and it would be messy anyway or so I told Curt.

So here I am, in the front of Uncle Louie’s boat this Saturday while Dad trolls for trout the last time. He told me he didn’t think he’d get a thing but he wanted to get “out on Twitchell” one last time. You go awful slow when trolling and it gives me a lot of time to think. Dad is very quiet as he sits by his Martin motor( and he is proud of that motor). I am thinking how strange it is that I am the only girl in the whole of Greenwood Center. Since my cousins moved, there have been two girls..but they come and go. Eugenia came for one school year to live with her Aunt Grace and Uncle Charlie. It seemed so good to have another girl here and we sometimes played ball, passing it between us on their front lawn. One day it rolled in Grace’s flower bed and she was not amused. We were banished from ball tossing the rest of the day! Then Eugenia left. I was alone again! Then another girl named Peggy came to live for awhile in the house where my Uncle Elmer had lived. Too soon she had moved. So here I am on this Saturday afternoon with the October sun beating down on us in the middle of Twitchell Pond.

“Muff? Did  you hear what I said?” Well that brings me out of my daydreaming right away. “What do you like best about Rowe’s Ledge?” Well, Dad knows what I always point out! “Pie Rock,” I answer. There is this piece of rock on the left of the actual ledge that is shaped just like a piece of pie and I have always called it that. “How’d you like to go up there?” I can’t believe Dad just said that.

Before I can catch my breath, he heads the boat towards Brooks’ Beach and we drift in to rest on the sand. “Are we really going up there?” I ask, not quite believing that Dad and I can actually go that far up …it looks really far up.

Dad grins, but says  nothing as he secures Uncle Louis’s boat to a tree bent over the water. He leads the way and I follow . The first part is not looking too bad..really kind of flat and I am disappointed. But, before long, the flatness turns to slightly uphill and soon it feels like my feet are higher than my head. Dad makes sure none of the branches comes back to smack me in the face. Before long, I can see a piece of rock and wonder if we are really there.

Dad looks back and grins. We are really there!! We are standing on Pie Rock, looking down on the world. Oh, what a feeling as the ledge hawks scream at the intruders near their nests. It feels like we are standing at the very top of the world and way down there is the pond. Our little house looks like a speck in the woods. Grammy and Grampa’s farm stands out because the pasture and fields are cleared around it. There are the summer homes on the shore of the pond. It is a beautiful sight to behold. I can hardly wait to tell Curt I was standing on Pie Rock!!!

I am a little disappointed that there is not much to see on the rock itself. Dad asks what I expected to see on the rock and I tell him I’m not sure, but more than the little evergreen that is growing in the back. There is a giant crack in the rock which you would never see from our front yard!!  I will concentrate on looking down and forget that the rock itself is pretty bare and not much to see as it sits covered with pine needles.

“We got to be heading back, Muff” Dad’s voice lifts me out of the little wonder world I had entered. So down the mountain we climb. I call it a mountain; Dad calls it a slope. It probably is a slope to him, where he hunts on Overset , Spruce, Pine and all the other mountains around. To me and to my tired legs, it is a mountain and not a slope!

I climb into the boat while Dad loosens the rope and soon we are back on the pond. “Think the trout have gone to bed, so we might as well head home, Muff.” I suppose it is getting a little late and Ma might be wondering where we have been. She probably thinks we drew up to Holly Cushman’s camp and visited awhile. I wonder if she will believe me when I tell her Dad and I climbed to Pie Rock!  I bet she will say, “Oh, you did not. You’re just like your father, always telling the tall tales.” 

Ah, ha, but this time it is the truth and I can hardly wait to run up to the house to tell Curt all about it! I went hiking with my Dad!!

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