Some days, your plans just don’t end up working out. As happened to me one rainy Monday in late Spring. The skies just would not let up, and my attempts to explore Riverhead Forest were stymied by bad maps, private roads, and a general lack of trails. My Plan B also fell through, as I couldn’t find any public access to that reserve either. Tired, wet, and a little frustrated, I looked at my list of eateries to try in the area, picked one out, and drove out to Fernielea Cafe in Coatesville.
I’m pretty sure anyone who grew up in rural Southeastern US would feel right at home in Coatesville. There are some indications of the Auckland Region’s more cosmopolitan nature — mostly the presence of more than one ethnicity living and working in the same general area — but that’s all for the good.
The backyard of the cafe includes a playground and picnic area, which I’m sure would be nice if it weren’t drenched. My jacket (hanging on the chair there) and hat (sneaking into the bottom of the photo) were similarly sodden. Credit where credit’s due, though my jacket itself was soaked, I was reasonably dry. Or at least my torso was; my head, legs, and feet were not so lucky!
After lunch, despite the rain, I was cheered enough to go for a bit of a walk around the bridle trails. This area seems to go for equestrian pursuits, as the trails are primarily designed for mounted use and indeed some of the fields look like they’re used for dressage rather than farmland.
No horses on the fields today, though; just this bird who has chosen the exact center of the field to stand in. I imagine him looking around and thinking, satisfied, “all mine”.
When the rain picked up a bit, I was grateful for the bits of trail under some sort of tree shelter.
As the trail bends ’round near the road, there is a bit of a pond.
Thanks to all the rain it’s practically overflowing! This tree doesn’t even need roots; it can bend down and drink through its leaves.
As with in life, the secret to being content as an explorer is to see the beauty and adventure that surrounds us wherever we are and appreciate what we can experience, big or small. After spending a couple of hours getting wet clear through as I walked around peaceful, quiet Coatesville, I came to appreciate that what I had gotten that day was exactly what I needed.
Next week I’m going to post some photos of a fantastic hike with amazing views and lovely sunny weather. It was a chance to properly explore an area I’ve wanted to check out for a while now, and I absolutely loved it. But on that rainy day in Coatesville I was glad I had stopped by those woods and fields and had a chance to experience some peace and tranquility.
And this seems like a good post to end 2015 with. Thank you for following along with my adventures this year, and an especially big thank you to those who have encouraged me in some way as I share my experiences.
Many cool points will be awarded to you if you get the reference in the title of this post. See you next year :)