The Search for Frog Pond

Going for a Monday hike has become my weekly nature ritual. Today I decided to take a trail I’ve been meaning to take for a while, one that leads to a quaint pond filled with frogs. It’s called Frog Pond, for obvious reasons.

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The trail I attempted. Look at me; so cute and full of hope. 5 miles feels a lot longer when it’s raining.
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Homemade trail mix! Just raw almonds and Ghiradelli chocolate chips. I ate it all.
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Some sort of newt. So cute! There were so many on the trail that I almost stepped on.

I started off so innocently, stepping over newts and enjoying my trail mix. I hiked in a drizzle that kept my hood up for the most part, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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A glimpse of the fog across the way. Back when it was still a drizzle and I could take my hood down for a little bit.

Soon, I encountered the trail signs below, which I misinterpreted, and went off the trail for about a quarter of a mile. That said, I did follow a deer trail until it ended in the underbrush, so it was easy enough for me to follow it back to the actual trail.

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Confusing (at the time) trail signs. The reason I got lost (for real).

After that, I encountered an actual fork in the trail and decided to go right, thinking I hadn’t yet hit the fork I was anticipating from the map. This trail led to a small pond, where I scared a couple of ducks, but seemed to end there. So I went back and took the left trail.

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Not Frog Pond.

After that, the trail went up a hill absolutely covered with scotch broom, and the drizzle became heavier and combined with water from the underbrush to totally drench my rain jacket. So I put on my emergency poncho to keep from getting even wetter. At some point, I turned a corner and realized I was thick in some fog and couldn’t see much more than the trail directly in front and behind me.

Let me pause here to explain that I hate the fog. The first time I walked out into the fog when we lived in Santa Rosa, I nearly had a panic attack. It freaks me out. I don’t like not being able to see, and I feel very vulnerable in it.

So it was at this point I decided I had hiked too far and somehow missed Frog Pond. I turned around and headed back the way I had come. On my way back, I looked at the map on my phone again and realized I was SO CLOSE to Frog Pond. If I had just gone a little further, I would have found it.

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The look on my face when I got done.

Oh well! I was still fun, and I got a good three hours of hiking in. Will I try to actually find Frog Pond next week? I don’t know! I might try a different trail next week! We’ll see. Until then!

Author: Rose Virginia Butler

Rose Virginia Butler was raised among the fairies in the foothills of northern California, where she learned the magic of storytelling from a variety of wizards, witches, mermaids, and superheroes. To her chagrin, she was never kidnapped by pirates or abducted by aliens, but she managed to find adventure in the most boring place of all: school. In her teens, she began a lifelong battle with the demons Depression and Anxiety, which she currently has under her thumb with the help of some very powerful potions and spells. She presently works as an administrative assistant in Winters, California, a magical land known the world over for farmers, steak, and a certain country music singer we’re not supposed to make a fuss about. At the end of 2016, she became a true Phoenix, and since then, she’s been befriending dragons, hunting things, and time traveling. Every November, she straightens her Viking helmet and captains the Yolo County ship for NaNoWriMo alongside Elisabeth Kauffman.

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