It's amazing the things we took for granted as kids. Just outside my door lay hundreds of miles of trail in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains begging to be ridden. And ride we did. Three seasons of the year our ramshackle dirtbikes rolled and tumbled through the forests of upstate New York, (that is when they weren't upside down in mud holes or waiting for parts that the local dealer may or may not have ordered). During winter, the fourth, and seemingly longest season of the year, with the wind off the east end of Lake Ontario howling and bringing with it cold white foot upon foot, we rode our equally ramshackle snowmobiles. It's just what we did. We never questioned it or had reason to think things would be any different. Does anyone, ever?
What we never bargained for was that we would change and grow and abandon the forests that were once our playground. Soon the silent standing wooden soldiers seemed to be encircling the perimeter of my prison. The never-sleeping city called, with buildings that scarred the sky and hard concrete to pound your feet. It certainly seemed crawling with life at the time, where everything was happening. And maybe, for me, for a while, it was and I wanted to be immersed in it.
Two decades later now find me drawn to a few hundred acre plot of woods a ten minute drive from my home. I find myself wanting to be immersed in this place, crawling with a different kind of life, always desiring to go deeper. The wooden soldiers still mark the boundaries of my prison, only now my servitude begins when I leave their lovely, dark confines. I long now not for the false halcyon days of youth, when I could barely change a spark plug let alone adjust a chain, but for the wilderness and the time to ride it. Now.