Year round, my son and I walk a 2.5 mile loop around the neighborhood after dinner most every evening. The path takes us around a graveyard, through a rural neighborhood, up and down some hills. But in the winter, this one section is in the dark and scary woods. We walk through it every night, and I’m pretty sure we’ll come out the other side. Hey, anything could be in there! I’m glad he is with me and we brought his 120 pound Lab, Bear. That dark place – about 300 feet long – gives me the creeps when it’s dark.
Now walking after dinner in Washington State in the winter means that you need a flashlight anytime after 4 pm. My son bought us these LED lights that you can see from space. With our neon yellow jackets, complete with reflective tape, we are quite a sight! All that doesn’t help much when we get to the dark and scary woods where the trees are right next to the road and the underbrush is very dense.
I think about the dark and scary woods when we plan a trip someplace we haven’t been that’s a little on the risky side. We went on a guided tour to the Copper Canyon and had to ride a bus across the border through Juarez, Mexico – one of the highest crime cities in the world! It was a fabulous trip and we’re so glad we went. (The train had guards with assault rifles in each car – protecting us!) Then there was the time, due to unfortunate travel plans, I was in Amsterdam by myself for 3 days. The city is known for pickpockets so I was extra careful, stayed on well lit streets at night and had an amazing 3 days doing whatever I wanted to do. I also went to a conference by myself in New Orleans and was pretty worried about walking out of the hotel alone. The concierge made arrangements for me to join several tour groups where I met new friends and had a really fun week.
The dark and scary woods is everywhere, but its not going to stop me from learning something new or adding to my travel diary. I am not, however, going to Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, or several of the countries in Africa. Being cautious and careful will not help me if I’m stupid.
As they used to say on “Hill Street Blues”…. “Let’s be careful out there!”