To get to Price Park, I typically walk through the Guilford College woods, a small neighborhood outside of these woods, and then into the pine forest of Price Park. I choose this walk, rather than driving from my apartment to the park, for a number of reasons. For one, I love the Guilford woods, and enjoy taking advantage of every opportunity I have to visit them, as almost every time I see groups of white-tailed deer, who always surprise me by how unafraid they are to approach me. Another reason is that every time I take this walk, with Price Park as my destination, the amount of time it takes to get to the park seems shorter and shorter. I’m not sure why this is — maybe my muscles have gotten used to the curves of the path, and even walking, or maybe time just goes by faster as I get increasingly comfortable within and aware of the space around me. Finally, and most importantly to me, it is because each time I arrive at the park, through an opening in a fence which takes me to the back edge (opposite Hobbs Road) of the space, I am able to choose between four different trails, which often each take me on a new route.
As I have said in a previous post, one of the things I love so much about Price Park, is that, despite it only being 98 acres in size, I never fail to discover something new about it. There are many paths, some manicured and meant to be there, and some less-often traveled, made by those who choose to stray from the trails. With this plethora of walking options, I am able to switch it up just about every time I go there — making it a never tiring, always exciting, new walk. One of my favorite things is to go off the purposeful trails — one can wander through the dry woods for what seems like forever, walking around fallen trees and between living ones which spurt almost no growth at human-height, and become unaware of the other people also at the park (as people don’t often go off the trail). However, if you walk long enough, you always get spit back out to a commonly-populated area. As I continue to visit the park I become increasingly familiar with where certain trees, posts, trails, etc. are located, and no matter how far I feel like I have strayed within the newly discovered (by me) territories, once I am released to the developed areas, I know exactly where I am and where I have been, and am able to find my way back home.
Price Park is perhaps the only space that I have grown so familiar with, and it is a wonderful feeling. It is strange though, that despite all the time I have spent outdoors throughout my life, I have never felt so close to a single space as I do with Price Park — a place that I have only been visiting regularly for a short amount of time. I know that this is only because of this assignment and this class, American Nature Writing, but it is a feeling and an experience that I don’t want to lose. At the same time, it is both odd and exciting to know that no matter how much I think I know about the space, what inhabits it, where things are, etc., there is an infinite amount left for me to discover. I have a feeling that no matter how many times I revisit, re-research, and re-experience Price Park, I will always have the urge to return and do it all again.