Sunday, December 31, 2023

Rising to the WNY Hiking Challenge

There is a Western New York hiking challenge afoot in Buffalo -- afoot, get it? And my friend Barbara and I rose to it.

Today we went on our first hike, at Tifft Nature Preserve!

Barbara and I are new friends in the grand scheme of things. However we have certain things in common, one of which was, both of us wore sneakers today on our hike. Sneakers! Her friends are laughing at her right now on her Facebook page.

We are having one of those mild winters we get from time to time, and Tifft's trails are awash in mud.  We were like princesses trying to pick our way around this mud, treading on grasses and these tall cattails which thanks to my Seek app I now know to be the Common Reed.

So illogically wearing sneakers was one thing. Another was our shared preoccupation with the Wyeth art family. The conversation was always turning to Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth and the great, the one and only N.C. Wyeth.

Andrew Wyeth would have loved this landscape!


Or better still this one.


Slogging through the mud in our sodden sneakers, we paused to contemplate that.

Funny, we thought it would be easy. We went in laughing, la la la la la la. I mentioned the sneakers. Did I also mention I was coming directly from church? And so I was also in a dress and carrying a purse. 

Every hike in this challenge has a landmark, something you have to find and take a selfie with. We found the landmark easily, although it did take some muddy walking to get there. The landmark was called the Peninsula. Here I am at it.

We did not know at that point that our adventure was just beginning! 

We saw trees that reminded us of the Brothers Grimm. N.C. Wyeth would have liked these trees! They would have fit in well with some of his illustrations.

At one point, it began raining. That happened to be at a discouraging point, when we were trying and failing to figure out the map, so neither of us mentioned the raindrops. And after a while they stopped. 

Next came a light hail. Again, we ignored it, and again, it stopped.

Twice, to avoid a river of mud, we had to thrash through a forest of Common Reeds.You would think they could have sent us on an easier trail however they did not. It had to be this trail. Ha ha ... Barbara began singing "It Had To Be You," to the trail. That was a song we would return to several times.

Trail, it had to be you!

And so we just charged into the reeds, going for broke. The reeds were taller than we were and we were afraid for a while we would not come out. 

However we lived to tell the tale. And this is it!

Out in the parking lot, we greeted a big group of ladies heading into the park, and sure enough, they were also on the hiking challenge. Ha, ha! Lots of luck, ladies!

It is funny, something like this, it just takes you out of your life. Mass that morning felt like a different lifetime. Also, I had completely forgotten it was New Year's Eve. It was like going into a time warp.

That is what's called an adventure.

We can't stop laughing about it!

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