Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baumholder Day 1-2ish (Part 3) - Revisiting Memories

Okay, folks, at this point you're going to be seeing a LOT of green, because I TOOK A HIKE. (Not mentally, just physically) :-P Well, I got to a point that there was a dirt path that led around the golf course, so I followed it. Taking some shots along the way (#34 - 37). At this point, nature called... and well, do you see a bathroom around? So I did what any guy would do. And I continued along. :-) Came upon #38, and I've been seeing these kind of things all around Germany, but they are typically put at the edge of forests, like this one. And I've been wondering what they are. I mean, they look like old WWII scout posts or something, but it also gave me the whole image of the movie "The Village" too. I'll have to find out at some point...

So I continue my trek around the golf course, when I get to a road (#44). Took a couple of pictures around the place (#39 - 43), so took a look down #44 and then looked the other way and saw #45, #46 and #47. Well... I wasn't that sure what to make of it. I wanted to continue on... but yet, at the same time, I'm not that sure I wasn't breaking onto government property at that point anyway. Well, #46 was the way to go, so I continued heading on up the path. I get to #46, but no guards. I could see that they had a laser checker there counting the number of objects go by, but the gate was open... so I continued on through, getting myself counted. :-)

Well, you can't really see in number 39's picture that there is a small gap in the trees on the right side of the picture. Well, that led straight towards the golf course, but there was another path to the left. Sorry I didn't get a better picture, but there was a road that skirted the trees heading off to the left. Basically it looked like a small camping ground, although not a whole lot of campers. Well, the path to the left gets me to ANOTHER gate. (#48) So I thought, eh, I've passed one gate, what's another? So I go around and continue down the path (yup, that's me! I'm a bad man for going around gates.) ;-) Well, I continue down the path, seeing other paths as I go along, but I keep to the one that I'm on, heading in the general direction that I wanted to go in, snapping off pictures as I go (#49 - 60). Well, I get to around #61, when I see the apartments off in the distance. I'm getting closer. :-)

Well, if you can't tell from the photos, let me tell you that the grass in the area was pretty high, and still a little soggy (my shoes and lower pant legs were soaked by the end of this "little" hike). Well, I continue down the path (#62 - 64), when I get to the forest. I knew I was in the right spot, because I was right behind the apartments (#66), but the forest had changed...

You see I remember very LARGE tree, with dirt all around, the tree canopy left hardly any light into the forest interior last I remembered. It was a great place, because you could climb the trees (as my brother did) or had little forts which I imagined at that age. It was a wonderful experience. This forest however, was changed. I mean, I understand, that time does have a way of changing things, but I was hoping for a little bit... There was a lot of shrubs and small bushes. Not a whole lot of trees to be see, so I take a closer look. As I started to head in, I actually found a path that was very familiar. (#69) If I remember correctly this path was actually at the base of the forest... but I'm not sure. There could have been two paths... that were similar. Not sure, can't really remember.

Well, as I was going further I saw a few number 76's. The large trees were no longer there, and the forest was regrowing. So as I continued down the path, getting more and more into the brush, I was thinking, "What happened?" Was there a natural forest fire that destroyed the forest? Did idiots (#72) do something stupid and caught the forest on fire? Or was it something that the Army did? You'll see what I mean in a sec. But I had no answers. Well, I was getting farther and farther into the forest, and it was getting to the point where there wasn't a path anymore, just a lot of branches (some with thorns). So I thought... Hmmm... let me see if I can get up to the apartments, but once again, I was getting to a point where there wasn't a good path up to the apartments either. So I back out of the forest. I find the path that I used to get in, and I head back out.

I was thinking of taking another path around (#88 and 89) but decided against it. I was already tired, sweaty, hot, and hungry by this point. So I head back to the camp ground. I sat down at the campground (in the grass) to have one of the rolls that I had bought earlier, and planned my next course of action. I figured, if the standard labor at the checkpoints wouldn't let me in, I figured I would try to step it up to their supervisors. So I take the path to the right this time, between the gap, past the driving range to where I could see checkpoint #3 (#90). I didn't go up right away. There was a little area past the driving range that had picnic tables under some shade. So I stop by there to take off my soaking shoes for a sec. Plus to give myself an extended breather. That hike wasn't exactly easy. :-)

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