The Caretaker's Concern 2/16/09
Inside the Ghetto, the Caretaker is busy at his desk where all the "magic" happens.
This could be the last day of the Caretaker's beard, tomorrow could be the day it gets shaved off.
Posting of the Caretaker’s Journal entries from 2003 began on the 2nd of February 2009, if you’ve missed the earlier posts click on “TCC for Feb 02” on the left in the “Blog Archive” and begin reading from there.
The Caretaker's first stint on the Island was during the mid-nineties, then he returned for the Summer of 2003, the text that follows has been edited only for spelling, it is basically a verbatim transcription from his journal (thus unedited except for coherency), this tenth entry is from his tenth day back at the Island. It is as follows:
June 6th, 2003, Friday
Another long day, very busy. Worked on the master bedroom, will finish the screen door tomorrow. It was a cloudy day with rain off and on. In the afternoon I went for a bicycle ride, it turned into my own personal cycle-cross event. It was a great ride.
I went North on route 9N out of town and then at the Riverbank road I went onto North Bolton Road. According to to the map, the route I had planned was all on "major local roads". I was later to find out that "major local road" does not necessarily mean paved road.
Just as I started up North Bolton Road I saw what at first glance appeared to be a Peacock ducking into the the woods on the left side of the road. Now I only saw it briefly so I was not sure, but I did know one thing: if it is a Peacock, someone is missing it, Peacocks don't live here naturally. The bird ducked into the woods about 30 feet ahead of me so I continued up the hill and moved over to the wrong side of the road with hopes that perhaps the bird had just hid there waiting for me to go by, thus I'd be able to get a better look at it. When I get to the spot where I thought the bird went into the woods there was no bird to be seen. I then saw that a car was approaching so I went back to the right side of the road. Then, all of a sudden, as I continued up the road, I heard a loud flapping of wings and then saw this huge black bird with bright red fleshy head and neck fly across the street in front of me and up into the trees. This was no peacock, this was a wild Turkey, and a very large one at that, enough to probably feed 10 people, but this wild Turkey could move. I think it went from standing to flying in a moment, no running, just "I think I'll fly away now." And it did. I found it to be a rather impressive site.
Eventually North Bolton Road becomes Padanarum Road, along the way I saw a few Salamanders along the shoulder of the road. I also saw a Goldfinch, or at least I think I did, it was bird that I only glimpse of and I saw a flash of yellow, but who knows? (Or, maybe it was a Peacock? --Caretaker's note 2/16/09)
After a while on Padanarum Road a dead end road branches off of it, Trout Falls Road. This where this "major local road" becomes a dirt road. Truth be known, I wasn't too surprised that this was the case. It is not too wise to ride a street bicycle down a sand and gravel dirt road, but having taken my road bicycle off road before I wasn't too worried. So I begin pedaling down the dirt road when in a short while the road surface becomes too soft for my narrow tires, I must dismount. I think about turning around but decide to walk the bike to the top of the rise to see how the road conditions are up on ahead. After the rise the road hardened up so I got back on my bicycle and continued on my way and in the end was extremely glad that I did.
So now that I have begun pedaling again I knew at this point I was committed to completing the route I planned. I carry with me a spare tube and patch kit so I wasn't worried about a popped tube, however, I carry no spare tire, my only concern was if I shred a tire I'm up a creek. Thankfully that did not happen.
So I'm pedaling along for a while when all of a sudden from the woods on the left hand side of the road who jumps out in front of me about 20 feet ahead? None other than Mr. Fox. I don't think he was expecting me, it looked as if he was planning on crossing the road, but when he saw me he turned and started to run ahead of me up the for about 10 seconds or so and then he ducked back into the woods on the left hand side of the road. I must say though, the Fox did not seem too frightened he did not dash ahead of me at an all out sprint, we were maintaining the same pace, I was able to get a good look at him. This was no peacock. He was light brown, almost tan, a big bushy tail, white on the underside. Pointy ears. It was very large, the size of an average American dog. It was beautiful watching its steady gait, it seemed to be just trotting along nonchalantly ahead of me, it was a bit faster than a trot, but certainly not a full out gallop.
Later on the road surface became a bit soft and the incline too steep so I had to dismount, during this entire trip it was only twice I had to dismount due to road conditions. However, this second dismount allowed for the mosquitos to get at me. This served as motivation not to dismount again--I forgot to bring bug repellent. Here on the Island there are so few mosquitos that I often forget about bug repellent when I travel the woods on the mainland.
Now it wasn't as if there were hordes of mosquitos, but one mosquito is too many for me. So once the road leveled off and hardened up I pedaled on again.
Eventually I came to the "T" where Padanarum Road spurs off, once continue straight or make a left at the "T" and head for the town of Horicon, my loop did not include Horicon so I continued straight, it is also at this point where one sees a sign informing the traveler that the road is not maintained during the winter months. I did not mark this as a sign that the road was going to get better, and it didn't, but it did not become too terrible. Eventually Padanarum Road joins with Round Pond Brook and much of the brook can be seen from the road all the way back to where it joins with Route 9N. It is a beautiful brook, there is one set of falls that are great to see. There are also some great ferns to be seen along the road. I will certainly return to Padanarum Road again but will either take my mountain bike, hike, or go by car.
Once Padanarum Road meets with Route 9N the rest of my way was obviously paved. I took 9N south back to Bolton Landing thus completing my loop. For all the bumps and loose teeth from Padanarum Road it was a very nice ride, the worst part of the whole trip was on 9N having to listen to the Stick Twisters roar by.
End Journal Entry for 6/6/2003
Coming tomorrow the Caretaker’s journal entry for 10/4/2004.
Introducing Blake : The feral cat
4 years ago