The Marsh Where Wild Birds Sing: Stop here on the plank bridge across a creek feeding into the Chariton River 1.5 miles down the Cinder Path at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, and just listen. Birds come here from miles around to sing.
The Pond Where Water Lilys Grow: Stop here 2 miles down the trail and just look. This is not The Pond Where Turtles Sun Themselves.
The Timber Where Chariton River Hickory Nuts Grow. We call them that around here because they grow only on the Chariton River bottoms. The nuts are twice the size of standard hickory nuts. They are universally treasured. Hickory nuts of any size are the best-tasting nuts (and among the most difficult to crack) in the whole wide world.
Stand here two and a half miles down the trail and listen to the irregular rhythm of nuts falling on the trail --- a walnut here, a hickory nut there. Coyotes are singing on the other side of the river. Duck! That nut has your name on it.
The Hill Where Nobody Lives. Stop here three miles down the trail and look to the west. Those pine trees mark the site of a farmstead that once overlooked the Chariton River valley. All gone now. It is 4:30 p.m. and time to turn around. It will be after 6 by the time I get back to Chariton. My feet hurt. I don't care.