The day I was at Stony Creek I heard someone call my name. Hard to believe, since we hardly know anyone around here! Two fellow poets, of course. It's a poetic place, the Thimble Islands a short distance away. After lunch I found the TrolleyTrail, perfect for duffers like us, straight as an arrow and almost entirely flat, at least the part I walked. Landed me in the center of a salt marsh, a nest for ospreys nearby. You can sit on a bench and look out to sea, or sit on the other bench and look inland towards the marshes. A fellow there was delighted to learn my husband and I had moved here from California. He's from Branford, lived here all his life, went to California once, pronounced it very scenic but prefers New England. I think I'm learning to.
I've printed off some maps of the Guilford Westwoods trail system. Compared to the
simplicity of the Branford trails, the Westwoods circuit looks like a de Kooning. I'm sure we'll get the hang of it, the white circle trails, the red triangles, the blue thingamajig. And what to do when a cross is on top of the circle, or an arrow. We could be circling for a long time, like the Leather Man, only he knew where he was going. He was featured in the Litchfield Hills magazine
of 1952. He had suffered some misfortune in his native France, had ruined his future father-in-law's business, lost the woman he would marry and fled to Connecticut, where he donned heavy leather clothes as a sort of penance, and lived in the woods, fed by strangers, a mysterious figure of his time.