Access to public forests can be tricky. I don't think there's anything wrong with hiking the edges of farm fields to reach woodlots, but I'm uncomfortable driving down private lanes without permission. This weekend we spoke to a nice older woman who owns a large acreage to the south of Cedar Creek, including a lane that connects to a remote stretch of the forest there. She seemed reluctant to let us use it at first. How often did we plan to go? I told her about once a month. She warned us about hunters in the fall. She explained what wasn't public property. The conversation drew out with further concerns and complications. But when I asked whether she still rented her land to my cousin Greg, a local farmer, her composure changed. Nothing about what she said before mattered; any relative of Greg's was welcome to use her road. Just call a little before you come by, she said. And that was that. The exchange reminded me of stories my grandmother told of handshake agreements: deals her father and grandfather made here in Kingsville, decades ago, secured by nothing but the honor of both parties. It tooks generations for families to establish sterling reputations. Cosmopolitanism's almost entirely destroyed this - but it's good to know it still exists in small pockets of the country.