November 16, 2021

CUBA! How the hell did we get to Cuba?


Only those who are eager to get lost in the wilderness of life’s beauty can find a meaningful life.

-Debasish Mridha


We walked two more legs of our BCT trek, about a week apart.  The first leg was around fourteen miles long, going from Ashland to Sherborn, and the second about twelve miles, going from Sherborn through Medfield to just south of that town.  Christine was able to join us for the first part, but it was only Phyllis, Waldo and me for the second.  This country, about thirty miles or southeast of Boston, is rolling hills, forests of mostly oak, maple and white pine, with bogs and meadows in the low places.  The temperature on both days was cool, but not so cool there weren’t any mosquitoes.   There were way too many mosquitoes.  I lathered myself up with some Ultrathon, a cream developed by the military that contains DEET, but is not absorbed through the skin, and they weren’t too bad.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, we often get a little lost before we finish the trek of the day, a delay that usually costs us a mile or so and sometimes up to an hour, and the trip from Ashland to Sherborn was no exception.  At one point, we did a double-take at a license plate on a car that was parked along a street where we walked.  The plate plainly said, “Cuba” above the usual string of numbers that license plates have.  Now, that is definitely lost!  We never found out the story behind the car, but were definitely amused by the find, enough to take a picture.

Most of these walks are very pleasant.   I especially like the jaunts into the forests, climbing up and down the hills, making our way through the exposed tree roots and large rocks.  Phyllis really likes the boggy areas, particularly where someone has put elevated wooden paths through the muck so we can be in the mire without being in the mud.  Christine likes the beach but is game for just about anything and Waldo, he loves it all.  As long as the path has a stick somewhere nearby, he’s good to go.

On the second of the two trips, Phyllis and I were particularly amused by two BCT markers that appeared on the same tree.  About a foot apart and both just above eye level, one marker pointed to the left and the other pointed to the right.  Now how could anyone possibly get lost with obvious directions like that?  We resorted to using the online interactive map and found our way okay, but even this ploy is wrought with difficulty.  The map shows a satellite view of the ground around us with a blue pulsating dot where we’re located on the image.  In good times, there is a thin red line that represents the trail that is overlaid on the satellite view and, if we’re on-trail, passes through our blue dot.  Not infrequently, however, the red line either fails to come up, or it disappears altogether if we expand the image to get a better idea of what’s going on.  The trail is so serpentine that it is often necessary to blow up the image so we can tell just which way to go.  Somehow or other, we are always able to get back to our car, even it means we have to stumble an added mile or two to do it.  Like Phyllis says, though, “Where’s the fun if we don’t at least occasionally get a little lost?”

Waldo, heck, he knows exactly where he is.  He’s right here, right now.  Always.  And, since he has no goal, he can’t get lost.   As long as there is a trail to be trod and plenty of sticks to move around, what does it matter where he goes?  In his experience, no matter which paths we take, or what we confront, all trails lead to home.  I sometimes wonder if he finds that rather magical.  Sometimes, I find it kinda magical too.

At the end of our second walk, we round a corner in the street we’re on and find our car where we left it in an unimproved parking lot just south of Medfield.  Our next trek will take us just north of Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play.  We’re getting ever closer to our final destination, Kingston Bay, Duxbury, but that is still many miles away.

Arriving home, Waldo plops over on his side, as he is wont to do, and, after catching his panting breath, is standing at the bedroom door, asking to be let in to go take a nap in his crate.  But he doesn’t fool me.  I know for a fact that all I’d have to do is say, “Wanna go outside?” and he would be up on his feet, impatiently trotting around in circles, eager to hit the trail, any trail, one more time.

Me?  I’m grateful I can put my weary muscles in my beloved recliner and lean back.

Yeah, I was a little lost today, but now I am so found.


Well, it’s clear which is the right way to go…

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