Sensory overload on the Braille Trail
August 25, 2006
The Pitkin County Senior Services sponsored a nature hike to the Braille Trail on Thursday, August 17.”Fifteen of us rode up Independence Pass to the Braille Trail where Mark Fuller, Director of the Independence Pass Foundation, acted as our guide,” said Marcia Corbin, organizer of the trip. “He read the signs aloud, encouraging us to enjoy all of our senses: Listening to the many subtle sounds of nature (the flowing stream, the birds, the breeze), identifying trees through touching their bark (smooth or rough) or smelling their crushed needles, and distinguishing the difference in terrain through the soles of our feet (hard, spongy, wet, dry, and pine needles).”Comments collected along the way or in retrospect were:”What a beautiful trail.””I never knew the word ‘duff.'” (Decaying vegetable matter on the ground in a forest)”I now can tell a spruce from a fir.””This was an experience; a real adventure. I learned a lot of things I’d never really seen before.” (Lichen, moss)”I now understand how the blind learn; how you can learn a fir from a spruce much better by touch and smell.””It was very informative and the smells were real nature without the chemicals.””The fir has a nice odor.””Did you see the discarded parts of the pine cone left by the squirrel on the tree stump? It was so interesting.””I liked seeing where a tree had fallen years ago and is now filled over with soil and plants with just a slight visible remnant of the length of the log left. Soon it will just be soil and ground again.””Our leader Mark was like a minister.””It was a good, wonderful experience; I enjoyed it.”Some of the group then walked the Discovery Trail before concluding the outing with a picnic lunch. Fun and new learning were had by all!