Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bay Circuit Trail: Concord and the Spirit of Thoreau.

Henry and I go way back. I like to think I appreciate him as he actually was rather than as the wretched plaster saint he's become.

"I'd rather sit on a pumpkin and have it to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion", is one quote that comes to mind when I end up stuck on the T at rush hour. Henry is like a founding mentor for my American appreciation of this living world and his works form the footing for it. 

The Bay Circuit Trail section of Thoreau country might begin at Concord Center. I usually start at the train station. The first noteworthy open space parcel is the Hapgood Wright Town Forest

It is the perfect contrast to the bustle of Walden. It was a favored spot for walks by Henry and other transcendence seekers and also provided a homestead for a freed slave who later lent his name to the spring that seeps there yet. The pond is home to a Kingfisher as well as a hang out for waterfowl.

This has been augmented by a purchase from the Walden Woods Project and it's all a short, if traffic intensive, traverse of Route 2 from that humble kettlehole pond that has become something of a stomped little shrine since the Baby Boom discovered Henry.

The pond is part of the greater basin of post glacial Lake Concord which gave the area its fine farm soil. 

It has fairly steep sides for most of its circumference and these began to experience such destructive human induced erosion that it became necessary to enclose them with steel wire fences and introduce a number of rules to  arrest deterioration and allow modest restoration. 

The rail line that has been there since Henry's day edges the trail along the south side of the pond before it touches a bit of Emerson's Cliff toward the east.

The trail crosses 126 and passes through a bit of an added Thoreau roam zone in Lincoln before turning south toward Wayland and Sudbury.