The two-mile Black Swan trail is a new addition to our already stellar trails menu in Nevada County. I started building this trail in 2014 on a trial basis with Bear Yuba Land Trust. I suppose the trial work days went well because I am now part of the staff and flourishing as a trails coordinator. I have a great job that allows me to be out in nature to learn and tune into our dynamic planet.
Part of my job involves going out into the wilderness for trail reconnaissance. This is when we look at prospective locations for new trail projects. We identify control points that may either be positive or negative. Nice views, access to water or a unique geological feature are examples of positive control points. A sensitive area such as a meadow, or a location of historical significance that could be degraded by human traffic, are examples of negative control points.
The parcel that the Black Swan Trail is located on is adjacent to an even larger parcel that is owned by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. We are hoping to expand upon the existing trail and create more of a network that accommodates equestrian use. I have done quite a bit of recon out there and want to share a recent experience I had.
While I hike I notice my mind calms down. Perhaps you, too, notice this calming affect when you are out in the woods. The same thoughts that my mind typically runs over and over in my head lose their power. The boring dialogue of uninspired dribble loses hold of my conscious self. I start to tune into nature and Mother Earth. This is powerful and significant! These are the times when knowledge can instantly pop into my head without thought. This is when wisdom and information can be downloaded with little to no effort. The only effort required is getting out on the trail and interacting with nature.
I was hiking along and my brain was tuning in. My thoughts were slowing down and I was getting aligned with a slower way of life. All of a sudden I stopped. I had a feeling something was not right. The feeling was to stop and look around. So I did just that thinking at first there was a snake nearby. It’s always a snake with me. Last year I encountered more snakes then I care to remember. This time it was a carcass of a dead jack rabbit. Most likely a recent meal for a coyote. The pelt was there along with the skeleton. It was a surreal moment because somehow my body felt there was something nearby even though I hadn’t seen it.
I am not sure why I received this message to stop and slow down but I did. I was tuned into a slower more spiritual mental wave length. I choose to listen to my feelings and I encourage you to do the same. Take a hike, slow down, tune in, and be grateful.