One of my favorite places to do an easy, scenic three-mile walk is along West Lake Cowdry Road. I park near the Lake Darling/Lake Cowdry bridge and hike along the road next to the lake.
Normally all the road signs along West Lake Cowdry Road are tucked behind long grass and tree foliage. But yesterday, because most of the fall leaves have already blown off the trees, the road signs stuck out like neon-lighted sore thumbs.
That’s when I realized what an incredibly hostile place West Lake Cowdry Road really is. Hostile and scary and downright intimidating.
Inviting little paths warned of dire consequences if I trespassed or hunted (I often hike with a shotgun, but luckily I left it at home yesterday).
And if just one sign isn’t intimidating enough, be sure to stick another one next to it that has the words "criminal" and “forbidden” and “prosecuted” in it. That’ll keep us curious hikers out of your inviting little country lane.
We can walk on the pavement, but wander six feet from the asphalt? Well, we’ve been warned. There are plenty of places to dispose of a body out here in long-grass country.
Another leaf-strewn lane announces that we might go in, but we’ll never come out.
Slow down for kids (not to mention little old ladies) who might be walking on this road. I was grateful for that one.
No parking—and if you don’t believe that sign, there’s another one reminding you twenty feet away. And twenty feet from that one. And twenty feet from that one.
Let me guess. You don’t want me to go here either.
As intriguing as this little creek looks, don’t be tempted. No loitering, no fishing. The whole time I was taking this picture, I marched in place to avoid that classic loitering look of slouching and leaning.
Oops, can’t loiter or fish by this culvert either. ‘Scuse me, I’ve got to keep moving.Along this little stretch, you can’t do anything as the four signs warn “no parking, no fishing, no loitering, no parking (again), and no speeding.” Whew—that’s a lot of signs in a row, even for West Lake Cowdry Road.
Every hundred feet or so, one of these yellow signs warns the uninformed that we shouldn’t be digging. I was grateful for the reminder because like most hikers, I was carrying a shovel.
The Cowdry/Darling creek bridge sported a big “Caution” sign, so I took the little path down the bank (cautiously, of course), curious to see what I was supposed to be cautious about.
This is all I found. It didn’t look too fraught with danger to me. (Fraught? Is fraught a word? If it isn’t, it should be.)
Ah, finally, a friendly gesture. As a passerby, it made me feel mighty welcome. I was, however, by this time suspicious that it was just a trick. I may be naive, but I wasn't about to fall for the old "Rest Stop" con game. I just kept moving along.
When I got back to my car, I realized that I had inadvertently parked right next to green high voltage box. Expecting the worst, I cautiously touched the metal handle of my car to open the door. Luckily the high voltage must have been momentarily turned down because I didn’t even get one of those carpet-shock jolts. I narrowly averted danger once again.
I think I like it better when all the leaves and grass of summer cover the hostile West Lake Cowdry Road signs. By the time I got home, I felt like I had risked my life to walk those dangerous three miles.