That title is literal. I have been up and down the Central Valley at Roundrock countless times, but I specifically revisited it on a recent (September 2011) visit to attempt to get the photo of something that is no longer there.
Roundrock is 80 acres in a rectangle: a quarter mile by a half mile. It is more or less one long valley, falling from west to east. We made our lake by damming part of the valley. Above the lake the valley grows more narrow though it is probably a hundred feet wide just above the lake, gradually losing width to the hillsides the farther west you go.
The ground is relatively flat, so it is a natural game trail, and in parts there is still some grass growing, probably remnants from the long-gone days when my woods was pasture as part of the cattle ranch that was once in the area.
The game trail that ran through the Central Valley was a convenient conduit for we talking apes to get from here to there. Our passage kept the trail open; the deers’ passage kept the trail open. But then the big ice storm of a few years ago brought down some big trees across parts of the Central Valley, interrupting the trail. The wild things, and we humans, had to divert around them to make our way through, and as a result, we visited this part of our forest less frequently.
So on my recent visit, I ventured in to this part of Roundrock to get a photo of the fallen trees that caused the problem, but they were gone. Not gone as in removed but as in sufficiently rotten to fall to the ground for the most part. Where I hoped to find blocked trail I found instead open woodland, as you see in the photo above.
I suppose I need to be suspicious of my memory of the blocked trails. I certainly seem to remember fallen trees getting in my way, but I couldn’t find much evidence of them after a few years. It doesn’t seem likely that they could decay that quickly. Maybe I didn’t visit the right part of the Central Valley. Maybe my memory has been embroidered.
The photo above was taken at pretty much the exact center of my forest. When I want to feel that I have fully escaped the troubles of the outside world, I take myself to this place.