Thanks, everybody, for the kind words on my last post. They were much appreciated, even in the depths of my moping. Titus was much closer to his current normal by Monday evening, the rehab team found nothing amiss on Wednesday, and he’s now up to two twenty-minute walks a day at five weeks (tomorrow) post-op. Could be three, but he usually just wants to chill out and chew on something amazing by his last walk before bed — so that one usually ends up shorter!
Meanwhile, Lilo and I headed to the southwestern corner of the state on Saturday to check out the Madame Sherri forest, iincluding the remains of an old castle there.
I’ve been meaning to check out this area for a while, but it’s a nearly two-hour drive for not many miles of trail. Even historical context and hypothetical hauntings hadn’t motivated me sufficiently. But the time limit of not wanting to leave Titus alone for longer than a work day is a good fit for oddball excursions like this one.
We hiked the Daniel Mountain loop with side trips to the castle before and after. Lilo really liked the openness of the trails. I was less impressed, though the going was easy, until we reached the first vista. Then I was sold.
We had that loop to ourselves even though there were plenty of cars in the lot. I suspect most folks stayed with the loop closest to the parking area. Turns out there are enough trail miles here to justify the drive, after all. It’s almost like adventure-planning ought to include looking at a map or something!
The ruins of Madame Sherri’s castle are a very short walk — 200m, max — from the parking lot. The footprint is much smaller than I had expected; I suspect the little old house that I currently live in covers a bit more ground. There’s a quiet dignity to the old staircase, though, and all those stacked-up stones. It’s not hard to imagine what the area and approach might have looked like in its younger days.
The area does show signs of use. I’m unbothered by the charred wood in the fireplace — that’s what a fireplace is for, after all, and it’s as safe as an outdoor fire gets; if I lived in the area, I’d probably join in! — but I spent a while before heading home picking up broken glass and fishing bottles out of holes in the foundation. Stewardship has been on my mind a lot over these last few days, what with the proposal to build a hotel below the summit of Washington, and taking a tiny bit of care for this unique spot seemed like the least I could do.