Saturday, October 31, 2020

Coffeeneuring 2020 - Fifth Cup at Macrae Farm Park


Overlooking western flatlands of Colchester with Lake Champlain in the distance.  

It's a cliff, so best to be cautious when taking photos.

Old road leads to fields. 


Macrae Farm Park. Water is very low. 

Another favorite mug.

Focusing on Gratitude

Setting off mid-afternoon on my mountain bike, I headed for the nearby hills again to explore more trails. I swerved around golden trees, bumped over roots, and discovered yet another route to the top. The summit overlook called me and I spent a few minutes taking in the scenery.

I kept going, however, because a coffeeneuring girl is always on a mission!

The maze of forest trails is often confusing, however heading downhill either ends up at a sandpit, a ridgeline above the bottoms lands, or an exit to a neighborhood, where then I get my bearings so I'm not concerned about getting lost, I heard motorized dirt bikes for the first time, so it was clear I was headed for the sandpit. After I skirted their antics - they kindly gave me right of way - I traveled a recently pockmarked track, chewed up by horse hooves, towards Macrae Farm and it's namesake park. The multi-use trails are a gem, not overused, and I'm curious about the public land and it's history. 

In the bottomland I aimed to see where Old Town Road ended up. A friend said it connects with Pine Island Road. During high water the Winooski River floods portions of the park, but 2020 has been a very dry year, so it was an opportunity find out where the road led to. 

As I hopped the bike over multiple tree roots, I wondered whether the road had once been more of an artery - clearly there's more history than meets the eye. I ended up in a bright green grassy field, double-tracked, with mountain bike tire tracks in the puddles. Enticed, I kept riding and stopped to admire a temporary shelter full of colorful chickens, photogenic in autumn sunlight.  I followed the track for a short uphill stretch, quickly morphing into a nice gravel road, exiting into a farmyard full of outbuildings. I recognized the area as the end of Pine Island Road, as my friend suggested, a place that had raised goats, and where we once brought old Christmas trees to feed the goats. What struck me though, was the thousands of chickens squawking, strutting around fenced off areas, but for some reason a smaller number were housed in the field below. 

I didn't see or hear any goats.

As the sun was low on the horizon, I headed back to Macrae Farm Park and enjoyed hot tea on the riverbank. Coincidentally, I also visited Macrae Farm Park in 2019, and it was also my fifth outing!

Though I'm currently unemployed, which adds a certain amount of stress, I'm very grateful to get to explore our new community and the wonders of autumn. From enjoying walking loops with my husband beneath golden, crimson, and ruddy oak trees - especially colorful this year - to riding and exploring area trails and roads, to watching birds in our backyard, I'm truly trying to make the best of it. 

The Place: Macrae Farm Park
Date: Sunday, October 19
Drink: Stash Lemon Ginger Tea
Observation: The park was quiet at sunset. I want to come back with my husband for a walk.
Total Miles: 11

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