Last month I had an unfortunate encounter with an overenthusiastic farm dog, all while standing too close to the edge of the farm porch. The resulting fall has kept me homebound the past month, icing my hip, lower back, ribs, and shoulders as I waited for my body to heal. Gratefully, I have no broken bones, but walking has been quite painful.
Strangely, walking on level floors has been more painful than climbing stairs. Yesterday, as the sun rose and the sky filled with blue, I thought, why not climb straight up Joe’s Rock? It’s nearby, a short drive, promises a great view once I get there, and climbing down stairs isn’t so bad, so coming back downhill should be ok as well, right?
Getting up to Joe’s Rock was, indeed, mostly fine, although for the many folks who come to my website looking for information about this conservation property in Wrentham, I must warn that it really is NOT an easy walk. The trail is filled with rocks.
The waterbars up the slope are deeply eroded, and in spring the trail is filled with a trickling stream finding its way down the hill.
For several years a large tree trunk barred the path near the top. The choice was either to climb over or under the trunk. That tree has collapsed, but now there is another large tree across the path at the same point that makes getting up the path challenging. I managed to sit on the tree trunk and pivot to the other side to get past this point and up to where there is a view.
And yes, the view–because it was such a clear morning, we were able to see for miles. Mostly over the state line into Cumberland, RI, rolling hills were in the distance, a truly pretty spot.
But what goes up must come down. My husband, who has been caretaking me throughout the healing of this injury, supported me on my way down. My walking sticks helped, but increasing pain in my hip made it harder and harder to walk. I was grateful that this is a rather small property, and the hill is really not that big of a climb. Once down, we headed right home and I spent the rest of the day on ice.
But I’m already thinking about my next walk. For there will be more. Cassandra says she may be able to meet me for an easy walk along the bike path nearby in Bellingham. Other friends are in the queue for additional walks. For the moment I’m feeling grateful for having legs that can carry me, with or without pain, from one spot to another. We really don’t know what any day will bring. But for now I know, if I could climb to the top of Joe’s Rock once, I can do it again!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.