And we have never, ever gone there in the summer (stop me if I've told this story before; I swear I'm just a Magic 8 Ball of reused stories...just shake me up and get another one).
We tromp through our trail in the autumn and on snowshoes and skis all winter, and in early spring it's where I go to bird watch. But once the blackflies come out in May, forget it.
And we do forget about it, right through the blackflies and mosquitoes and deerflies. So that the trail gets so overgrown with wild raspberries and blackberry canes and head-high asters that it's not even navigable.
Until after the first frost, when the bugs die back, and the vegetation does too.
But this summer, we've made it a destination. We've braved some bugs, and come in search of others. C, the bravest of all, walks down in the evenings after work, when the mosquitos are at their densest (and hungriest).
Saturday, we walked up the riverbed all the way to where this piece of ledge, some sort of layered rock (schist? shale?) heaved up on its side, forms a riffle, a bit of a fall.
Z caught frogs. I tried to catch dragons and damsels. M chattered nonstop about his latest obsessions--willow trees and poisonous plants (truly I have no idea where this kid came from). E, who has a bad cough (that sounds like croup, but isn't six too old for croup? We're at home today, letting him get better) followed us along the bank until the trees got too dense, then waited for us to come back.