Legend of the Odd Woods - Onward -
Legend of the Odd Woods
I awoke from my sleep, with an odd feeling. I dream, but mostly mundane things about life in general. My dreams last night were...to say the least...just a tad bit odd. I have never smelled ice plant flowers before, I am not sure they even have a scent that humans can detect, if they do, I know I have never smelled them before. It could be because I have never bent down and picked one from the ground to bring to my nose to see if they did have a scent. I would quite often be on my knees weeding the ice plants, but even then I never really caught a whiff of scent.
Not only was the dream odd in respect to smelling the flowers, but I had never had a dream where I smelled something. I have had dreams of touch, of taste and of feeling, but the fifth sense smell had never been a part of my dreams. Perhaps I had just never noticed smells before in my dreams.
After coming awake I built a small three stone cubby fire for some hot water. I still had a little bit of instant coffee, and some tea, and thought I would enjoy a cup of one or the other before setting off for the day. The stream looked nice, I was mesmerized by the sound of the water over the rocks, I went to get a more awake view of it than I had last night before falling asleep.
It was a nice little stream, I could see some medium sized trout in the stream, and there looked to be a large enough area to bathe. This was a fantastic sight seeing the small pool. The water was clear enough to see the sandy bottom. After four days on the trail I did not hesitate, off came the clothes and into the water I stepped. It was a wake-up cold, but as I settled into the pool, it seemed as if the water magically warmed up a degree or two. I don't know how long I sat in that little pool relaxing, I eventually grabbed a handful of the sandy bottom gravel and started to scour myself. It felt good to be getting clean after four days. The start of the fifth would be on a clean note.
After I felt I was sufficiently clean I took to cleaning my clothes. I would need more than a cubby fire to dry my clothes, but it would be worth it to have clean, and dry clothes to start the day. Something that really amazed me was the lack of any bugs, no gnats, no flies, and thank god, no mosquitoes. I returned to the fire and hot water and decided on coffee, I was plenty relaxed and rather enjoying myself this morning after having been able to clean up a bit. I gathered a few more rocks and expanded my little cubby fire to dry my clothing, especially my socks. No one likes to wear wet socks, I did have one last pair of dry socks, but getting these two pairs dry would be a blessing. You just never know what you are going to have to wade through and how often socks can get wet while out hiking.
I would normally feel very strange and self conscious about sitting a round a campfire buck naked waiting for my clothes to dry, and in fact have never had to do that at all in my life. Once again that strange feeling did not in the least strike me as being odd at the moment. This Odd Woods, was growing on me. I have never felt so relaxed in my life, I was going to have to be careful lest I fall into some walking zombie, awake but not awake. Time has certainly taken a back seat on this disappearing trail. I could not say if it was ten minutes or two hours, but my clothing was dry, rather quickly I feel as my coffee was still warm. I got dressed and then set about packing for the continued journey. I could still see the smoke trail every now and then through the trees.
There was a natural rock crossing over the stream, It was almost if someone long ago had placed the rocks at just the right spacing for small hops from one rock to the next across the stream. I made it safely across the stream, and as I turned around for one last look at the camp area, it was covered in mist and slowly disappeared, like the trail yesterday. The mist cleared as rapidly as it came in but the camp area never returned, it looked just like the rest of the area. Gone was the manicured lawn look, gone was the evidence of my fire, and gone was the sheltering tree. It was as if that little oasis had never existed.
I know what was there, I know where I slept, but it was gone now. At times I felt like I was loosing my mind, like when the trail yesterday just up and vanished. I turned back to the direction I was planning on going. When I did I got another system shock. My dream last night, with the addition of hints of a trail. This could not be, the stream is still just behind, where I camped last night was just across the stream, this should have been visible from there, yet it was not here yesterday, or even three minutes ago. I had gone nowhere, I was looking in the direction I was planning on traveling before turning for that one last look at the campsite.
This was not possible. A small trail maybe ten feet long from the stream crossing rocks, and then a manicured flower bed of Ice plants.
This was not natural, it was as well tended as the campsite area was. there was even a small bench to sit and enjoy the flowers. So many colors, such a variety. How did they get here? Why are they here? and more important who put them here. Ice Plants were not a native to this area. They needed tending, and they need warm to hot weather and a lot of daily sunshine. How did they just grow in the middle of the woods.
I thought to myself "this is going to be an interesting day". In the middle of the ice plant was what I knew as a fairy circle, I am not sure what the real term is, but any place there was a near perfect circle in the middle of something like a flower bed or a lawn, was referred to as a fairy circle. Supposedly it was where the good fairies lived and tended the plants. There magic being so strong at times that it left a tell-tell spot where they lived. Since I have never seen the fairies, or any thing that looked like holes and such, I always thought of them as the transport platforms for the fairies, that they did not live there, that they were there to teleport into the garden to tend it. Still there were a lot of interesting stories around these mysterious little garden circles.
I was tempted to bend down and pick one of the flowers to give it a good ole sniff to see if it did indeed have a scent to me, but I did not want to needlessly harm one for some reason just to satisfy curiosity. I did bend down to inhale the garden area, but all I honestly could smell was just healthy soil. No flowery scent at all.
As I got up to continue on my way, it appeared that the trail had returned. How long the trail would last I did not know, where it lead I did not know, day five was already a nice surprise, I set off down the trail, hoping it would continue to be a nice day.
Image source, and separation bar my own work.