Stumbling Upon a Secret Place

Neeps and I went for a hike this morning, in spite of the rain.  I've always loved hiking in the rain (so long as I have appropriate gear) because you generally get the trail to yourself.  Also let's face it: there's just something magical about the forest soaked in liquid silver.
A gateway to another world, PROBABLY.
I decided to do a short hike- less than 1.5 miles- because now that Neeps is a Master Toddler, I wanted him to do some of the trail under his own power.  So I figured a quick out-and-back, ending with him doing the last 30 yards or so.

Now, I'm not sure what exactly happened, but somehow we ended up Not On the Trail.  I mean, we were on a trail, but not the trail, and moreover the trail that we were on definitely wasn't an official trail.  But it was a trail, so I figured what the heck- might as well see where it led.

Turns out it led to something pretty freaking awesome:
That's right, a damn Fairy Pavilion.

It was a beautiful, magical, secret sort of place, and I was beside myself with delight for having discovered it in the company of my son.  We wandered all around it, noting the fire pit and the decaying rope swing and the places where someone had attempted to shore up the roof, which had rotted through in the center for perfect star-gazing.  It looked like it had been abandoned for years and years, but this being the PNW (where all things bow down to Mistress Creeping Green), it's more likely only been one or two.

Eventually we headed back, and I hauled Neeps down to do some toddling.  He stumped around in the woods for a bit, and then retraced everything he'd done at top speed after a dog passed (he wanted to pet that dog so badly).  I carried him back to where he'd turned around, and then he walked some more.  Finally he was tired enough that he was falling down more than walking, so I carried him the final piece back to the car.

It was a good day.

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