Thanksgiving weekend is here, but for various reasons we have decided to stay close to home, perhaps venturing on a number of little day trips. Yesterday, in particular, we needed to stay fairly close to home, so I checked out Google Maps, looking for some place that we had previously overlooked. Lo and behold, didn't I see the Wildlife Conservation and Bird Sanctuary on the shores of Mississippi Lake. Why hadn't I noticed this before?
So, off we headed, turning down the correct road as instructed by Google Maps. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. It's not there, or if it is, it's nothing but woodland with no public access. If there is in fact anything there, it would only be accessible by ATV or more likely helicopter.
So, off we went driving around this lake and that. There are a lot of lakes nearby, but they are all pretty well inaccessible: that is to say, all of the surrounding land is privately owned. One can drive along a road close to and paralleling the lake and not even know that it's there unless one is looking on a map. It's a little disappointing to say the least.
We did take one side road in hopes of finding a scenic spot and were able to catch a glimpse of the lake, but the man whose property we stopped adjacent to was soon out there protecting his feudal rights. Oh, he was pleasant enough, but he was surely keeping an eye on interlopers. Here is what we were able to glimpse before he trained his rifle on us (kidding).
That was it for the lake, so we turned Harriet the Chariot around with bullets whizzing past our ears (still kidding) and drove off. We were searching for autumn colour, but it's not the great year for colourful foliage in these parts. At one point we crossed a short, wooden railway bridge and hopped out to take a few pictures. Sadly, we were not as fortunate as Lorna last weekend, so a train didn't choose that moment to thunder by.
We stopped again at the edge of another lake — rather a glorified beaver pond — for a few more pictures. Once again, there's some colour, but the landscape isn't exactly resplendent.
Finally, we ended up at the cheese shop in Balderson where there's more than just cheese let me tell ya: much more, including a large adjacent Amish furniture store.
At one point, as I meandered about, I saw a woman staring at me. Actually, she was staring as if in in horror, crossing herself and mumbling prayers about dreadful apparitions. (Once again, I jest although the staring part is correct.)
I moved on, but Cuppa and I headed back in that direction a few moments later and didn't the lady approach and call my name. I puzzled for a moment because she did look somewhat similar to Sheila who lives hundreds of miles away. But she didn't look that much like Sheila. As this lady called my name again, her identity began to dawn on me at the same time as she introduced herself. Yes, it was fellow blogger, Mary G of Them's My Sentiments. Mary and we live in the same county, but we had never met. Fortunately, I post so many pictures that she had no difficulty at all recognizing me. We chatted for a few moments and posed for pictures before moving on. We had both stopped at the same cheese shop at the same time from our divergent parts of this large county.
So, it was an odd day that went from not finding a place that was on the map to a serendipitous meeting with a fellow blogger. I do regret, however, that as far as I can tell there is no suitable antonym for that great word: serendipity. It would make it much easier to coin a clever title for this post.