Baskett Slough

May 9, 2016.

On a hot, sunny, Monday afternoon I finished with my appointments and took a drive out to Baskett Slough. I’d driven by here many times before, but never stopped to take a hike. Today was my day.

There was a map at the trailhead and I roughly plotted a route in my head. It looked like I could link up several trail segments and make a nice loop.

I was immediately overwhelmed by color. It was like being inside an over-saturated photo, but it was real life. The grasses were Crayola green, the sky an impossible blue, the wet marshes a perfect reflection of the sky. I felt humbled and awed by nature’s beauty and largeness.

As I walked alone I found myself accompanied by red-winged blackbirds. Grass grew taller than me, forming living walls at my side. Yarrow flowers bloomed, wild vines climbed up the thick shrubs. To my right, a thick jungle and to my left, a perfectly groomed field. It was a study in contrast. I kept walking on the path, making my way to…

…somewhere. The trail abruptly faded. I found myself walking through thick grass. Marshland seemed to surround me in every direction, hemming me in.

I thrashed around for a bit, trying to make sense of where I’d ended up. Somehow I managed to make it back to a trail and pieced together the rest of the loop. Now the trail led me into a cool forest, a respite from the beating sun. Here, the ferns and moss grew thickly. But it was short-lived. Back in the open meadows, though, I was surprised by new blooms: cat’s ears, larkspur, and other pretty things I didn’t recognize. In such a small area there was a diversity of life. From the marsh to the forest to the messy brush to the mowed meadows, life found a way.

I got a little more than I’d bargained for on this hike, but it was a most enjoyable afternoon. The warm sun, the lush landscape and the quiet solitude were all worth it for a little navigation trouble!

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