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urban woods

Yesterday we ventured in an unusual direction for us, lately: towards the big city. Not very far towards, since we're very much country mice these days! But a little bit. And Beaver Brook North Reservation in Waltham felt like a very urban woods compared to our usual haunts.

the boys posing in front of a grafitti'd water tower

look how street we are

The outing was prompted by our desire to visit Play Time in Arlington Center, but we also needed to be out of the house for a solid chunk of time so Leah could do an important meeting, so I hopped on Openstreetmap to find somewhere we could explore. There aren't any woods in Arlington big enough to absorb our attention for long, but Beaver Brook looked like it might be just the place. And it was! The graffiti, though beautifully photogenic, wasn't the main contrast with what we're used to. There was only that one bit, on a water tower we climbed up to. No, what was really different was the sheer number of trails crisscrossing the woods every which way.

Which was actually perfect for our mood, because we went in not having any idea what we were going to see or do and were all happy to have lots of intersections to make random choices at. Well, mostly happy... after over an hour of walking and playing certain of us started to feel worried about getting lost. As if that were even possible in the smart phone era! But any nervousness didn't last long, since there were lots of steep hills to run on and surprises to explore: a cemetery, an MTB jump track, a causeway with fascinating pipes carrying water to its lower side... and the water tower, of course! Plus some beautiful vistas that showed us that urban woods are just as cool as what we're used to in deep suburbia.

Zion and Elijah on a gravel path looking at a pond

despite the name of the woods the dam was made by people

It was all so entrancing, in fact, that we only made it to Play Time 13 minutes before they closed. So that part of the trip was sort of a bust (though we did pick up a good pencil sharpener, absolutely essential if we wanted to keep writing or drawing at our house). So we'll have to go back again soon. Anyone have any suggestions for other urban woods we can explore on the way?

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