Tonight marks the end of a long day doing what was planned months ago. Friday night despite the Mass Pike being closed all day and into the night (tanker rollover) my friend drove from her job in Hartford to stay here. We planned this a while ago because she knew she did not have to work today. We kept our fingers crossed that the weather would be perfect after all the rain we had (and had and had). It was.
She asked me during the week if Walden Pond looked more like Walden Ocean. I replied: "Well, not that I can see." Boy was I ever wrong. We started the day at a decent time considering we were at my favorite Irish Pub last night (Desmond O'Malleys) watching the Sox game. And so our adventure began.
We arrived at Walden Pond before any of the tourists and really before a lot of the locals. We paid our $5 to park (well worth it because it goes to a good cause. *thank you Don Henley*). As we started down the path to the Pond we did not notice much out of sorts. Then we hooked a left and consulted our map and decided to hike around the Pond that way. It was tricky along the wall and we thought to ourselves "this can't be the trail". We pushed along further (not falling in) and came upon a fisherman. He said "I've been coming here 50 years and I've never seen anything like this." We asked him what he meant because everything looked okay despite the fact that the trail was too narrow for our tastes. He explained that "We've lost 10ft of beach all along here and then the trail is all under water!!" We glanced to the left and it suddenly became clear.
There was a park bench fully submerged and several others sticking out of the water. In fact, there was a fisherman standing up on the stone wall fishing above the park bench. We then realized the fine folks at Walden have a long summer ahead. They had brought in truckloads of sand to keep up the beach (now gone). They spent years making the trail the way it was (now gone). We enjoyed our conversation with the fisherman (talked about the fish stocked in the lake).
After a quick hike up to the railroad tracks (and some photos taken there) we made it down to the original site of Thoreau's house. We found a rock and added to the pile as was tradition. I had never heard of that tradition, and I was delighted to participate.
We made it back around and then hit the gift shop. They sold cold bottled water which was great. For $6 I got a little book that features parts of both Maine Woods and Cape Cod so I was excited.
We called my husband once we reached Rte 2, and he met us in Concord for lunch. We enjoyed the Walden Grille on Walden Street (of course). Everything was wonderful, the service was excellent and the quality and price could not be beat. Plus, there was works of a local artist on the walls (that I recognized from a local gallery). I forgot to pay for parking but did not get a ticket.
Then us girls headed on to Bedford (to swing by my work) and then on to Lexington. We were dissapointed that we did not see anyone on Lexington green in either a redcoat (!) or colonial clothing holding a musket (many a lunchbreak I see such folks. We had texted friends telling them that we expected to see some folks in Colonial garb and they replied: "Your mother wears Colonial clothing." After that we went into Brookline and then back home again.
It was really a lovely day. Much catching up and fresh air was had. We got to try a place for lunch we had never been. And the best part is we made it all the way around Walden Ocean without falling in!
"We can never have enough of Nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and Titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and decaying trees…We need to witness our own limits trangressed."
-Walden by Henry David Thoreau