I made the trip with one of my girlfriends, in his place. The day was sunny and the fall foliage spectacular. As I took photos I remembered Jesse's words of caution as I neared the edge of the bluff to get the best angle of the waterfalls below for that awesome photograph. I pictured him walking ahead of me in his bright blue hooded jacket, contrasting with the yellow and gold colors of fall. We would stroll hand in hand, and have a little picnic with some wine from Wollersheim and smoked Gouda cheese.
He would smile and greet anyone we would meet, agree to a few selfie photos of the two of us, and help me maneuver the steep areas, to ensure I would not fall. We would later find a restaurant to try, perhaps shop a little, and head home to meet the kids off the school bus.
Pewitt's Nest was not the same this day in 2015. Arriving, the first thing I noticed was the parking for maybe 6 cars at most, had easily be doubled. The DNR had obviously come in and cleared fairly wide trails were previously paths were questionable. A number of trees were cut down. The leaf covered paths were replaced by smooth, rock-like surface, which made the trails slippery and even a bit treacherous. Where previously we may have met perhaps 3 people, there were well over a dozen. But for me, the greatest change was not the disturbed natural state of Pewitt's Nest, but the void of a person who thoroughly relished the beauty of nature, the birds of the air, and who marveled at the great works God had made for our viewing pleasure and enjoyment. I know he was with me in spirit today, but oh how I miss the most kind and gentle person I have ever been blessed to know and love.