I love hiking to Frog Pond. It isn't that it's spectacular or unusual. I've been on many hikes that are far more beautiful. Still, this is one of my favorite places. The pond rests in a bowl. On one side, steep 242 million-year-old granite protects the pond. On the far side are pine-covered hills and another granite outcropping. At the end of the pond, the bowl opens and a stream flows north.
On my last hike to the pond, evidence of a fire that swept through the area last year was everywhere. The drought has lowered the water of the pond. The wind blew most of the way to the pond. At the pond, the trees hadn't burned and the wind didn't touch it. It was absolutely quiet.
Every year I've been there, I find a pair of mallard ducks. They never come over to my side to beg for food. This year, as we ate our lunch, we watched their nearly grown four young ducks feeding. They didn't glance at us.
As usual, two blue dragonflies hovered in the air about six feet from me and at eye level. My 100-pound poodle did not disturb them but did lie down near them. The quiet was so absolute, my friend and I didn't say a word. In all the times I've been to the pond, I've never seen other hikers. What I love about the pond is the quiet and when my lunch is finished, I'm always reluctant to leave as is my friend.
We, finally, forced ourselves to put the remains of our lunches in our packs, make certain we hadn't left evidence of our visit and climbed uphill to the trail. I hiked several feet and turned for one last look at the pond, bent into the wind, and walked quickly to catch up with my friend.
The hike is short and easy. I always take the long way to the pond. By the time we reached my vehicle, we'd hiked approximately six miles. The visit to the pond stays with me from one season to the next because of the absolute quiet.