August 27, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Would it not be well to describe some of those rough—all day walks across lots….

—-Picking our way over quaking meadows & swamps —& occasionally slipping into the muddy batter mid-leg deep—-jumping or fording ditches & brooks—forcing our way through dense blueberry swamps—-where there is water beneath & bushes above—then brushing through extensive birch forests all covered with green lice—which cover our clothes & face—then under larger wood relieved, more open beneath—-steering for some more conspicuous trunk Now along a rocky hill side where the sweet fern grows for a mile—then over a recent cutting—finding our uncertain footing on the cracking tops & trimmings of trees left by the choppers— Now taking a step or 2 of smooth walking across a high way— Now through a dense pine wood descending—into a rank dry swamp where the cinnamon fern rises above your head—with isles of poison dog wood— Now up a scraggy hill—covered with shrub oak—stooping & winding ones way—for half a mile—tearing ones clothes in many places & putting out ones eyes—& find at last that it has no bare brow but another slope of the same character— Now through a corn field diagonally with the rows—now coming upon the hidden melon patch seeing the back-side of familiar hills & not knowing them. The nearest house to home which you do not know—seeming further off—than the farthest which you do know— In the spring defiled with the froth on various bushes, &c &c &c— Now reaching on higher land some open—pigeon place—a breathing place for us.