I've been obsessed with making trails all
my life, from growing up deep in the hardwood
forests of New Jersey to the evergreen
foothills of Western Washington. When we moved here to my
folks garden in 1996, I immediately began building more trails,
so that now there is a network of more than two miles. My father
created meandering lawns as paths and built the gravel paths
for garden visitors to view the rhododendrons. I added interior
trails for a different perspective, so that viewers are under
the plants and seeing branch structures from within. The two
independent sets of paths remind me of a metaphor explaining
matter and anti-matter: like two worms eating two sets of tunnels
all throughout an apple but never connecting with each other.
Since the paths are on a two dimensional plane, that is impossible,
but it still feels like two completely different gardens. Maybe
a better metaphor: the garden is person and the external paths
are the conscious life, while the internal ones are the subconscious.
And since consciousness is not an either or but many levels,
I took the trails one level deeper.
All the trails are suitable for strolling
or biking, but the newest can be navigated only by remcumbents.
They carry the perspective idea one step further. Branches are
pruned to a three foot height, so that the ride is like going
through a tunnel.
They are not meant to be exclusionary, but
the low ceiling height makes walking or mountain biking a little
In some places, I carved out openings in the
shape, as well as the height, of a trike rider. Here the triangular
hole fits 20 inch wheels at the bottom, then tapers for shoulders
and finally a head.
The trail is only a month old, so it is somewhat
raw at the moment. Pruning gives it a general shape, but like
the other internal trails, its real form will develop over several
years as the plants continue to grow around it.
Like the other interior trails, you see
green plant structures when you pedal through a maze of trunks.
Trail width is narrow in places, but not so
tight to require any precise handling. This ride is meant to
be enjoyable, not a skill test.