After the long hard winter, the two-track weathered just fine. It’s a testament to nature taking care of its own – if we leave her to her own devices. The ruts are less wide and the middle hump is a little more ragged, but the first few cars that go down will re-shape it. I hope it will be me, returning many times.
At the end of the two-track, at the cul-de-sac, the once used buck pole stands hidden by shrubbery that has grown around it over the years. By next month, it will be hard to see as the leaves populate the bushes and trees. My first trip will leave a depressed area where I park the Jeep at the edge of the field of ferns. It is also where I gather ferns to line the wicker creel to bed the couple of brookies I’ll keep for the traditional opening season breakfast.
Making my way down the ridge I encounter bog, downed trees and look for deer trails that I know will lead to the river. It’s no use trying to plot a straight line, the soft spring bottom and downed trees and rotted stumps make that impossible. But the river isn’t that far and if I listen, I can hear the sound of rushing water as it passes over sweepers and newly downed trees, some of which will have to be cut back to let canoes pass without having to push their way through. For now, they will make interesting pools to carefully and methodically probe with nymphs and carefully placed dries.
I’m not the first to be here, canoes and kayaks have floated this water, but judging from the two-track, I’m the first to climb down from the ridge and over the bank to meet the natives on their terms. It sounds tripe, but I swear, Ponce de Leon was looking for this place.