Somewhere, just east of nowhere | Notes from the North Woods

Sleeping pool at Mossy Falls.

Sleeping pool at Mossy Falls.

Most recently, it occurred on a late, early summer afternoon as the roar of falling waters, combined with bed of soft moss bed and a sweet breeze to sooth my tired mind.

It had been a long week of hard work and I nodded off unexpectedly on a small patch of soft moss located on the banks of a small, mountain stream.

I’d been out for a while when I awoke with a start. I was unsure of the time, but I knew I had hung around for quite a while; maybe even a bit longer than I should’ve.

Although the route home was easy enough easy to follow, I knew it would be a challenge without a light in the growing darkness. During summer months, darkness arrives late, but it comes quickly; so I broke down the flyrod, and stashed my reel in the creel. I knew the brook meandered for a way through a small gorge, but there was an old tote road nearby.

So, with a large branch to guard my flyrod, I walked slowly through the high brush, carefully lifting my feet high to avoid tripping over obstacles, of which there were many.

It was a moonless evening, but the stars were out and I could hear traffic in the distance. The exact direction of travel was not my greatest concern, as I knew where I had to go. I was more concerned with tripping and breaking something, or poking a hole in my side after stumbling on the sharp stub of a beaver chewed sapling.

But in an instant, the dim darkness of early evening was punctuated by the soft light of lightning bugs blinking in the nearby marsh.

Crickets began to chirp and a long soft, cotton-like ribbon of fog began to slowly rise above the flat, black waters of the wide brook. I poked along slowly to avoid tripping over unseen obstacles. It wouldn’t stop me from stumbling, but it would soften the blow as I wobbled about like a drunken sailor on leave for the eve.

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