Muddy tire tracks stretched all the way from Highway 101 east to the clearing where Annie and I had walked the other day. Now it was smooth, all the little stumps and shrubs cleared, making a nice long road straight to the edge of the canyon. We walked easily through, and I took pictures of the view spread before us. As we turned toward Cedar Street, I saw the yellow bulldozer and the red cherry-picker were still there. I heard voices. Annie had started digging in the soft dirt. Then she paused, left front paw raised, stilled by an intriguing smell. “Come on,” I whispered. We were about to get caught trespassing where I assumed we were not supposed to go.
Here the mud was chunky, dotted with rocks and sticks. Skinned logs from the felled trees rose in two tall piles. As the street came into view, so did a woman, blonde with curly hair and black-framed glasses. “Did you come up the road behind the house?” she asked.
She smiled. “Isn’t it great?”
It turns out the clearing is not for a new house, and it’s okay to walk there. The woman, whose name is Patty, said the airport owns the land and is raising money by logging it. The new walking area and open view are welcome bonuses, she said. Her house gets more light now, and the loggers took down some trees on her property that she had been wanting to get rid of. “Doesn’t it smell wonderful?” she said. It smelled like Christmas.
I’m torn. I love the new trail and the view of the canyon, but I love the trees, too. I wonder what will happen next.