Well it finally came. The last hike of the season. Some of you may be breathing a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness I don't have to hear about THAT anymore", you may secretly be thinking. And I promise to not hold that against you. But for Joy and I, it's kind of a dagnabbit situation. I mean, she is, of course, excited to be heading back to Yellowstone to do her ranger-thing. And by summer it will just be too hot&humid (yes I say it like it's one word) to do a lot of hiking here anyway but still, we really enjoy our photo safari's and will miss it. Until the fall when we start again! Fair Warning! We Will Start Again!
Meanwhile, this last hike. I know I mentioned once before that somewhere along the line, we found this wonderful list and map of all of the hiking opportunities in our county. And we kind of thought it would be fun to try them all. Friday (last hike day) we checked out another one.
Joy GPS'd the address into the Nav system of her car and, after at least one turn around, we did find it. It was a little confusing because the address was actually of a very elaborate YMCA compound. I said compound because it was more than one building, a very large parking lot and then many different outside areas. There was an enormous lap pool, a basketball court, tennis courts, a soccer field, a very nice playground, outside climbing wall and something that looked like ships rigging and, oh yeah, way over there, and rather poorly marked considering how nicely everything else was maintained, there was a hint of a trail. Ok. We're game.
It was a dirt trail and we do prefer those, but it was extremely narrow. No biggie, we walked single file. It was shady and cool and that was nice but more than a little overgrown. We could hear birds, but not see them and more alarming, we could hear rustling in the foliage but not see any creatures. Is it a lizard, a mouse, a SNAKE? No idea. We never saw any of them.
But we did, at some point, spot some poison ivy. Yikes! We walked slowly and carefully and tried to not brush up against anything. Here and there would be a stray beam of sunlight illuminating some little thing that caught our eyes and at one point we found a creek that had a small waterfall but overall, it was a bit over a mile of just cautious walking and not a lot of photography going on. At the stream we could hear a bullfrog. Never once saw him though and that drove us mad for short awhile and those few moments were the most exciting of that hike. We were glad we checked it out, but there is no need to go back.
So, in an effort to salvage the hike, we went to one of our old favourites back here in Venice, The Carlton Preserve. First of all, it has bathrooms. Second of all, lots of well-marked and nicely maintained trails. And normally LOADS of photo ops.
We chose a trail we had not walked before and it was lovely. Nice wide trails, loads of sunshine (though shady areas as well here and there) and it was quiet and beautiful as it always is. But oddly, we saw evidence of very little wildlife. Almost no birds, not even a lot of butterflies or dragonflies, few flowers, no real new discoveries of the sort that get someone with a camera excited.
But still it was a nice walk and we enjoyed it. All five plus miles of it. Yup it was a longer than usual one and by the time it was over we were sweaty, dirty, tired and very very thirsty. So we called it quits and revived ourselves with about 32 glasses of iced water and some veggie pizza. It was a good day. Not a great photography day, but a good day nonetheless.
Oh well, look at that. I guess I did get a few photos after all :)
And we spent another day together, talking, laughing and sharing one of our favourite hobbies! (in fact, I had Joy laughing so hard at one point the we probably shouldn't have been driving! I need to work on my comedic timing obviously)
We do plan to spend tomorrow together but since there is something like a 90% chance of rain, hiking is O.U.T. of the question. I'm not sure what we'll do instead, but whatever it is, we will enjoy the heck out of it.
I feel another blogpost coming on.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.