I Went for a Walk: A Different Trail

I’m about to head to Cheatham Hill again to walk the trail. I have to get exercise in several times a week. The gym bores the heck out of me. During the week the trail is very quiet, with just enough people around that maybe it keeps the bad guys away. Usually, the only sound I hear are my footsteps and breath, and the occasional pounding and panting of a passing runner. Horses can use the trail, too, but I don’t see them often, only the occasional patty.

The trail passes through meadows, crosses streams, and crisscrosses the battlefields that make up Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. If you happen to be in the minority, and you are actually from Atlanta, then you understand well the Civil War is never more than a mile or two away from you. There are placards, memorials, canons, earthworks, trenches, and other artifacts of the war all still very visible. There were trenches in the woods behind my best friend’s house, in the neighborhood where I grew up. We were about a mile from the Chattahoochee River, Atlanta just beyond, and I imagine 150 years ago the barefoot Rebel boys were sent especially to Kenwood subdivision. They dug the trenches, and set up there most likely to protect against a flanking maneuver by them “damn Yankees.” God and General Sherman made other plans.

If you live anywhere from Pennsylvania south, through Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia, and you live near the expressways, then you probably have a battlefield close by.

One section of the Cheatham Hill trail shows trenches dug closely together with the signage showing the Confederate brigade which was here and the Union brigade which was there, ten or twenty yards away. Even I can hit something that close. The fighting was bloody.

So I walk silently and photograph. I share some of the photographs here.

The other day I went for a walk and I decided to take a different path. It is such a cliche but I thought of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Well dang if that ain’t true.

I picked a different path this time, one not as worn nor as wide as my usual path, and I saw different things. Pretty trite, huh? But the grander scheme of things is composed of infinitesimally small schemes of things that may hand us a clue if we’re alert to them. Maybe I don’t want to stay with the crowd so much.

Looking toward Cheatham Hill Road

The wildflowers exhibit Southern reticence, charming but reserved, and not much for grand display, except for a few gaudy cousins who show up at the family reunions. Oh, how they put on such airs, like the native tiger lilies who dress in in orange and red, or the Maypops – the passion flower, which is edible. The Cherokee Indians called them ocoee, we think, and in deference, the white settlers named the Ocoee river after them. It is also the Tennesee state flower. They were not out today at Cheatham Hill, but the butterfly pea and petunias, tiny daisy fleabane and a dandelion cousin could be found among the chest high grasses.

The paths diverge and join again, taking you up and down. It is a good place for runners, those who in my opinion are intelligent enough to stay off the roads and away from aggressive Atlanta drivers who fear not the laws of Man or God.

Below my baby, and the point of the story besides me meandering around in a field with temperatures in the 90s just for the sweat of it. I suppose the particular path I was on really is the road less traveled. Even though deer are a very common sight, especially with the never ending bulldozing for more and more houses, I did not expect to see one, and she probably did not expect to see me.

As I rounded the corner this doe was feeding. I stopped immediately, she looked up. I said quietly, as friendly as I could, “Hey little buddy,” and I guess she figured I was no threat even though I was only a few feet from her, because she went back to feeding. I had time to get my camera out and take four or five images. I won’t bore you with them all.

It is too hot for deer season. I don’t think there is any hunting on this land, either. I am not opposed to hunting at all. It keeps the deer healthier to thin the herds with planned hunting seasons. People around here eat what they kill. They might even eat what you ran over. I am sure my brother-in-law would say, “That thar is good eatin'”. I agree, but today this deer and I met and continued on in peace.


~ by Bill on July 12, 2019.

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