Adventures with Chicken-Alone in the Woods

I wanted to hike.  Usually, I can talk my boys into a walk in the woods but they both had plans.  I have one friend close by, Deb, who loves to hike so I sent her a text.  She was busy, too.

Well, damn.  Now what?  I still wanted to be in the woods.  Could I go by myself?  No.  There’s, like, things in the woods…bears and stuff.  What if I broke an ankle?  What if I got lost?

I decided to chance it. I really wanted to go. I took a back pack, just in case I did get lost, with extra mittens, a scarf, water and food.  And a little video recorder.  In case I needed to do some Blair Witch-style of documentation.

Oddly enough, it didn’t occur to me to bring matches, a flashlight, a jack knife, maybe some band-aids…a compass.  In my defense, even if I had brought a compass, I wouldn’t have known how to use it.  Wait…that also makes me sound unprepared to be in the woods by myself, doesn’t it?

Well, there you have it, I went to the woods alone, inexperienced and with a bad sense of direction, but I did have mittens and food, just in case.  And don’t forget the video recorder.

To be extra adventurous, I chose a location I’d never been, the George B. Parker Woodland in Coventry, RI.  When I got there I was happy to find several cars in the lot and some people milling about.  At least I wouldn’t be completely alone in the woods.  Hopefully, none of these cars belonged to a crazed lunatic wood-dwelling rapist.  I started out on the orange trail, which quickly intersected the blue trail.  For those unfamiliar with hiking, the colors are a way of coding the trails.  To stay on a particular trail, you follow the color markings on the trees.  If you get off track and eventually notice you haven’t seen any markings in quite awhile, you can back track to the last marking, or you can use your compass.  Assuming you know how.

The woods were lovely.  So lovely, I bit off a bit more than I had intended and stayed long enough that I began to worry about still being in the woods when the sun went down.  I began taking note of several places I could hole up if necessary.  I got a little spooked thinking about all of the creatures of the wood that come out at night to feed.  I’m talking about vampires, of course, and possibly zombies.

In the end, I was out of the woods with time to spare and there were still cars and people in the lot. I went into the woods alone and lived to tell the tale.  Go Chicken.

Here are some photos from the walk, if you are interested.  I don’t have Hilary’s mad skillz with a camera, but I did my best.  As it turned out, I didn’t need the video recorder.


From a bridge spanning this little creek


I liked how the branches of this fallen tree were all reaching out toward the trail. LittleB sees a tree man sitting in this picture. Do you see him?


This was taken from a ridge looking down on the creek.


This was my favorite spot-a stairway to nowhere. Towards the end of the hike, as I was seriously starting to worry about getting to the end of the trail before dark, I came across this old foundation, seemingly in the middle of the woods. The sign posted near it called it the old “Vaughn Homestead”. I guess once upon a time, these wild woods were more settled. It was kind of magical. And a great place to hole up for the night, possibly.


More of the Vaughn Homestead

Thanks for sharing my walk today.

Chicken out

  8 comments for “Adventures with Chicken-Alone in the Woods

  1. jenny_o
    November 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I can hardly get past the first sentence. I have NEVER wanted to hike. How do you get yourself to want to hike?

    Okay, I’m past it, finally. And I’m glad you wanted to hike because those pictures are wonderful. Maybe you could figure out how to use a compass before you go for another solo hike, though? We don’t want to lose you.


    • November 10, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Jenny-I’ve always loved the woods-the smell, the quiet…my husband agrees with you, though. It’s not really his thing. I do need to learn some basic safety things, though. Most of all, though, the buddy system is probably the way to go


  2. November 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I wasn’t aware R.I. had woods of any sort. Buddy system is the way to go, but probably a cell phone with a gps will assure you you won’t spend the night in the woods. All the other stuff is good too.


    • November 11, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Hi Mike. RI has lots of woods. A lot of RI is pretty rural, actually, but the parts that aren’t are densely populated. And we voted almost completely democrat. See? We’re not so bad. You know, I had my phone with me and the phone has GPS and a compass, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t get a signal in the woods. From now on, at the very least, I will bring a flashlight, matches and a jack knife. And a buddy. I think I need more buddies that like walking in the woods.


  3. Doug in Oakland
    November 11, 2014 at 4:26 am

    The buddy system is indeed safer, but you will notice more of your surroundings by yourself. I started hanging out in the woods by myself when I was six. I was taught how to behave in the wilderness by my father, who both worked in the National Forest and loved to hunt and fish. Once you learn how to avoid poison oak, yellowjackets and rattlesnakes, you’re half way there.


    • November 11, 2014 at 4:31 am

      Ha. I’m a third of the way there as long as I stay in RI. No rattle snakes!!!


  4. Pat
    November 12, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    No need to apologize about your photos, they are really good! I love to hike and do it often. Having another person with you, is always a good choice (and I do that often), but I prefer the solitude of hiking alone. I love being in remote places where it’s unlikely that I’ll run into other people, or even hear any. Of course, I always let somebody know where I’m going. I tell them, if they don’t hear from me by a particular time and date, something has happened.

    Having said that, when I’m hiking in places that are primarily wooded with deciduous trees (places that look like your photos were taken in), the Blair Witch Project always pops into my head. Not good….


    • November 13, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Hi Pat-Oh that Blair Witch….You know, I think that was one of the scariest movies I’ve seen for whatever reason. It left me feeling very unsettled. Probably because I enjoy being in the woods so much. You are brave to go by yourself! I usually try to get someone to come along but I have to agree, sometimes it’s nicer and much quieter when you go alone. I’ve got a thing about being quiet in the woods. I guess so I can hear what’s going on around me. My seven-year-old, my usual hiking partner, does not have this same thing:-)


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