A hike without Fred along Monocacy Creek

We just dropped off our one-eyed rescue in Bethlehem, PA. Almost a year ago, Fred was first introduced to us by Saint Lucy, a friend who runs a hospice-like service for dogs with little or no hope of ever being adopted.

Her lot all suffer from a variety of diseases and illnesses, in Fred’s case, he needs enucleation surgery for an inherit eye condition that worsened with neglect. Lucy will save our stubborn but sweet-natured breed from total blindness with a low-risk operation.

In the meantime, Lucy encouraged us to explore Bethlehem, take our minds off the procedure. She suggested hiking Monocacy Way, a beautiful public trail that runs alongside Monocacy Creek in downtown Bethlehem. It wouldn’t be the same without Fred but we’d give it a try.

The 1.7 mile hike began at Sand Island but due to wet drizzle we started upstream, a block off historic Main. A sizzling breakfast of eggs and bacon at the newly-opened Flying Egg kept us warm. Along the way we admired several 19th century sites like the well-preserved Colonial Industrial Quarter, the Burnside Plantation, the Paint Mill Pond and Illick’s Grist Mill.

The Creek, no bigger than 30 feet across, is also known for its wild brown trout population. Sure enough, near the Illick’s Mill Road Bridge, a fisherman donning green trousers and waterproof rubber boots, confirmed that the fish were still biting despite the sloppy weather. Hardy ducks and a pair of white-feathered geese swam alongside us as if Fred was with us.

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