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What's new at Aiken's Carolina Bay, or, the power of positive procrastination

Trail on the morning of May 27
Trail on the morning of May 27
Stephen V. Geddes

If this had been written and published Tuesday, May 27, it, with some obvious changes, could have been published as "news." That being said, it will still be news to some of us that the City has cleared the trails at its Carolina Bay and those of us who have been avoiding the area due to the trees that had fallen across the trails during this winter's ice storm can now resume our use of this natural area. Your writer's delay in publishing allows him to utilize the article for a bit of editorializing, though, and I hope our readers will forgive the delay.

The bay after the ice storm
The bay after the ice storm
Stephen V. Geddes

You see, May 27 was one of those days when the Aiken Geddes grandparents were graced with younger son's two elementarians and what to do by way of interesting entertainment became an issue. My plan was to take the ten year old to the Carolina Bay to teach him a bit about the use of a bow saw. This would permit grandmama time to work with the eight year old, our budding musician, on one of his piano lessons.

There were several places on the blazed trail around the bay area that were blocked, at least partially, by fallen trees. My trusted friend TobiJuan and I had found ways to work our way around the problem areas beginning a couple of days after the storm. Initially we had been very wary of possible "hangers," broken limbs that had not yet found their way to the ground, and had walked the trail with extreme care. Eventually, all problem areas boiled down to inconveniences, as opposed to dangers, and the trail walks proceeded with regularity. The only thing I had kept telling myself was how I might bring that bow saw the next time I came to the Bay to trim one particular problem area and allow for unfettered use of the trail on its east side.

Since TobiJuan and I use the trail every day, it would be a simple math problem to determine how many times I had reminded myself about bringing that bow saw before my problem with what to do with my grandchild brought the idea to fruition.

TobiJuan and I had done our circumferential navigation of the bay around 9:00 A.M. that morning. About 3:00 P.M. my grandchild and I returned, bow saw and hatchet in hand. We walked past the climbing wall and continued following the trail as it progressed and roughly paralleled Two Notch Road. On arriving at the downed pine, I was shocked. It had disappeared. Either a confluence of timing coincidence found the City and me working on the same problem on the same day, or someone in the City had been observing me all along and planned (with malice and forethought) to thwart me in my well-intentioned outing. Then, again, perhaps God was just having a laugh at my expense. Whatever the reason, my bow saw instructional efforts were thwarted on that day.

The next day I returned, with dog in tow, and found all impedances to navigation had been removed from the trail, even some that remained from an ice storm years ago. The trail is indeed clear, and usable at this time. (No thanks whatsoever to me--ergo, the "power of positive procrastination.")

Happy dog walkin' y'all!