October 11 was the thirty-fifth anniversary of our first date. “Did you think you’d marry him?” our daughter asked. No, not yet. We were shy and unsure, immature teenagers with hardly a thought beyond next week. It must have been fate.
On Sunday, I was getting ready for church, waiting for mister Ollie sweetums to arrive, when I got a text from the Hubs, who was at work. What would I like to do to celebrate? He’d be done around noon. The Wild Walk, a new feature at the Wild Center, has been on my list for months. It was closing for the season in a few days so that settled that: we’d go ‘splorin.
After church, lunch, and barn-boys play time, we took Ollie home and headed south toward the Adirondack Park. Fall foliage was at (late?) peak, a rich tapestry of red, orange and gold hues woven into the evergreen forest. A brilliant blue sky laced with whispy cirrus clouds and distant mountain peaks capped the view. I’d brought my knitting along but decided better of it — spectacular!
The Wild Center is a natural history museum and Adirondack treasure. There are interactive wildlife exhibits, historical exhibits and multimedia explorations of our natural world. Inside are lots of fish and other critters in residence but a family of playful otters always wins the crowd. Outside are miles of trails and ponds to explore. You won’t want to miss it if you visit the area.
The newest attraction, the Wild Walk, is quite something. A series of elevated trails and suspension bridges lead to a great view and perfect perch, in the form of a huge birds nest set 3 stories above ground level. Along the way are interactive exhibits and play areas. The trail branches off at one point to take you inside and down the center of a huge hollow white pine tree, a four-story snag. Coolness.
The Wild Center was super busy on Sunday — if they didn’t set an attendance record then they must have come close. It was fun to be there midst wee ones, old ones, every age and ability enjoying themselves. It was nice to have some quiet time together, between the drive there and back and our walk in the sunshine. Who could have known that an awkward CYO dance in St Mary’s gym in the fall of 1980 might lead to this wild walk we’ve enjoyed — 35 years and counting?
~ René Morley