This little grouping of chairs is on the front or back yard of the Rockwood Mansion. I have still not figured out what to call this yard, perhaps I'll just refer to it as The Yard. There really isn't a yard on the other side, the front of the building, just a driveway.
His friend, also invisible, is even more invective.
"You have two battery chargers sitting in a drawer under a virtual log jam of rechargeable batteries. Why aren't you all charged up, man?"
But enough of this chit-chat or we'll never get through this place. Let's get back on the trail where I left off last time I brought you all here. We had just swung around some evergreens behind the expanse of The Yard. That path just looks out on another wide splotch of grass, the yard beyond The Yard.
It is, as usual for me, early in the morning, not long after sunrise. There were no cars in the parking lot when I arrived and still weren't as I started this walk.
Doesn't mean we won't make some acquaintances along the way. This is on the Northern Greenway after all and people stroll in here from Bellevue and Bringhurst (remember we mentioned Mary Bringhurst last visit) and even Alapocas Run.
Oh by the way, we can see the whole back of the mansion from here.
I've walked Brandywine Park probably more than any other actually. Now don't get confused, Brandywine Park is in downtown Wilmington and near the start of the Northern Greenway. It is a city park, not a state park. Being downtown is why I walked it more than any other because I always went for a long walk on my lunch hour when I worked in town.
We just passed one at the edge of The Yard.
I had to stop here and tie my shoelaces. For some reason modern shoelaces won't stay laced. You tie, walk a bit, and have to retie.
Oh, look, another Ha-ha, tee-hee!
Here is one of those decision points on our walk through life. Which way shall we ramble? Well, if we go right we will come up pass the Mansion to the Carriage House where we explored last time.
So it is straight ahead into the forest primeval then!
It doesn't look it, but it is a little steep here and with these leaves everywhere one must watch they don't slip.
See, see the house on the left. Actually, even in the full frontal foliage of summer this house can be seen, just not so much of it.
So I knew this place was here.
It looks desolate much of the time, but occasionally a light is on or a car is in the drive. It is a big house with a twisting walkway down to the edge of the creek that weaves through here.
I wonder who these people are hiding back here in the woods? They are not near-paupers like me, that's for sure.
They are not really hiding back in the woods either. They are the encroachment of modern society upon the woods.
It is the back of some kind of maintenance building for the park. On the other side it is quite visible fronting a large gravel parking area down below the Carriage House, but its hindquarters have always been well covered by nature in the warm seasons. Now its flanks are exposed for all to see and to the nip of approaching winter.
Squirrels skitter away all around me, but squirrels hardly count as wildlife anymore. They skitter all about my neighborhood too and steal the sunflower seeds out of the bird feeder. They keep a respectful distance most times, but they also stand relatively close until they see whether you are carrying a spare nut their way. Squirrels are semi-domestic creatures.
As I was driving here this morning a deer did come awkwardly across the road ahead of me and then run down into Bringhurst Woods. I never met it on the trail.
If you want to get over into that community beyond the trees you cross this bridge. Another path will meander up a grade and into that neighborhood and take you out to Rockwood Road. If you go along that road and under a couple of overpasses, you will come to more large estates. There you will pick up the path again and if you follow it, you will eventually come into Alapocas Run State Park.
Our little protected roadway of nature, our shelter where civilization crumbles.
But we didn't come out to trouble our mind with these types of questions and cares. We came to ramble away from the cares and worries of the world, to clear our head, not clog it up, so let's chance the subject.
We may pollute it, but we never really destroy it.
I've ambled along perhaps a mile so far and haven't seen another soul. As I approach the cross path ahead a lady jogger comes bopping down it and by me. I say hello, but she is oblivious to my greeting, an unusual occurrence on these Delaware Trails. We Delawareans are generally a friendly tribe who always speak.
I turn up the trail she came down.
Here again houses I never noticed before. They're like big fat ticks on the hide of a Razorback hog, bloated and ready to pop.
There must be some who visit after closing, but not to explore the park. The other morning there was a used condom lying on the macadam when I stepped out of my car. Nature lovers?
This path is going to take us into the woods and up to the top of Rockwood hill. This is what I call the gradual climb. There is a steeper way up the hill, but I prefer this one. I generally return down by the steep path.
I have come up that other way, but I have to confess I was panting by the time I reached the top. I'll leave that way to the younger crowd.
There is always the chance in ten years I won't be walking over grounds, but lying under them.
It is important to keep the body as fit as possible these days. After all, one never knows when you'll have to walk through an airport scanner.
Not everyone gets subjected to the peek-a-boo or the hands-on-grab. Here is another great mind at work. We select our subject at random. In other words, we play the lottery and hope some time we win a terrorist.
Now here is where I could use some security. Some paths are so leaf covered you can't see where the path ends and the ground begins. It is easy to slip off the edge of the path and twist an ankle. I've done it about three times on narrower paths. You suddenly hit partway on the lip of the macadam and your foot twists over into the soft soil beside it. I am fortunate to have strong ankles. Otherwise I would have to lay moaning by the path until some jogger happens along, hopefully not the lady with the earplugs.
As you can see we have left any houses behind. It would appear we have entered deep woods, but appearances would be wrong.
If you look closely at this photograph you may be just able to pickup something right along the horizon behind the trees. You'd never notice in the summer because in the summer you can't even see that horizon.
You can clearly see what that odd green is in this picture. Follow the fence as it bends right and there halfway up above the fence is the green, a highway exit ahead sign.
The thing that ran along the horizon that could barely be picked up was a guard rail. The infamous I-95 rolls right along side this upward path. It is easily exposed here in the autumn. Not only can you see it, you can hear it. In the summer the full trees and thick brush muffle the sounds of traffic to a few big trucks and noisy motorcycles.
They are spending $32 million dollars on toll booths. Gonna have to collect a lot of tolls.
Oh, we have reached the top of the hill. Here is an intersecting path that came up the steep side of the hill. Its level through the gap in the stone wall and a bit further, then it dips down.
Yeah, I know, it's hard to believe there is a path, but there is. You step over the fallen log, go past the marker sticking up and wind in around those trees to be on it. This path will take you to the actual crest of the hill where you can look down over a sort of cliff.
Its pretty peaceful up there because few seem to make the short trek. You can see how undisturbed the path is. How buried by leaf fall.
For now we have rambled far and wide and long so let's take a rest. If I don't get you back here before tomorrow, let me wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you have much to be thankful for.
Meanwhile try to see what sits atop this hill. It is in this picture.