Lookee, Lookee! Joy and I were so tickled with our last photo safari that we were dancing! Not Bob. He wasn't dancing. Well maybe in his heart he was dancing like Baryshnikov. But in real life, he was taking 5 under a tree listening to something on his phone. Apparently our forest has wi-fi.
Remember how I once said that, without any intention on our part, each of our hikes seems to have a "theme". The flower hike, the dragon fly hike, the flooded out trails hike and of course our famous, feral hog hike (yikes!), for instance. Well this photo safari had a theme too. This one was the hike of many trails.
We headed to Carlton Preserve, stepped out onto our usual entrance and almost immediately had a couple of bicyclers zooming down the trail toward us. That was new! We were all surprised but very nice about it. And then we wondered if this was gong to be a trend. Not as much fun hiking if you are concerned about getting run over by an off rode bicycler. Those guys do not go slow!
So when we noticed what appeared to us to be, a newly cut trail we decided to turn off onto that one. Newly cut trails are always enticing! In very short order we realized that it was not a new trail but an old one. It was not especially well maintained (which is unusual for this preserve) so instead, we believe it was a newly re-opened trail.
I became a little uneasy fairly quickly because the trail showed more and more signs of feral hogs and while I am a fan of most animals, I just have no particular desire to face down more wild hogs. I'm not saying that they are intrinsically evil or anything so silly. But I will say this, They ain't Bambi.
The hog indications grew more and more prevalent until the actual trail was only one narrow person wide. Yikes! Hog sign kind of looks like this:
There is perfectly ordinary trail through the middle of what appears to be an attack by a Roto- Tiller. When the upturned soil is light in colour (and therefore sun dried) you know that it's older sign and we were not quite as concerned by that. But when the soil is dark, then it's still damp and therefore recent. It was getting darker so I was getting more and more uncomfortable. In fact at one point, Joy stepped on a dry stick which made a big cracking sound and I about jumped out of my shoes I'm ridiculous sometimes.
Thankfully, before the sound of flapping butterfly wings scared me to death, we found a crossing trail that was wider, sunnier, drier and hog sign free. Whew! My spirits were lighter and we slowed our walk down enough to find far more interesting things to take pictures of and tralalala, we continued on our merry way.
We walked along, snapping photos and chatting and then at some point, off through the trees, I spied what I assumed, was an animal trail. It was narrow and winding, I decided that I wanted to, briefly, just check it out. "I'll only be a minute" sez I. And I darted through the trees to the narrower path and trotted down a short ways just to check it out. It seemed to loop around in great wide lazy circles. I reported this back and the decision was made to switch over to this newer, narrower, loopier path. Why not?
And of course, as it turns out, that wasn't an animal path. It was a bicycle path. Well, let me clarify. All of the trails are fine for pedestrians OR bicyclers. But some just a bit more one way or the other. This one leaned toward bicyclers. But hey, earlier in the hike there was a more pedestrian heavy trail that had bicyclers on it, so it now felt even.
Either way, it was a great path. Lots of different foliage and trees and flowers and a stream running through it. Who could ask for anything more? Well actually the bonus was fascinating fungus. Which is not a sentence I ever thought that I would say. But true. Instead of just the usual (but kind of adorable) little toadstools, we kept finding other very interesting examples.
Obviously I was rather captivated by it. It looked like plates or perhaps shelves, there in the forest. And in my whimsical mind I could see it being utilized as such - by magical forest creatures of course. Never mind me.
Well we continued to follow this bike trail for quite awhile. Because it was a new trail to us and because it kept turning and looping this way and that, every twist revealed something new and interesting. So we kept snap snap snapping away!
Eventually we did see actual real animal trails in the undergrowth. This time I did not opt to follow it. But I love that we saw them. I'm sure that the animals were not nearly so happy about it.
Eventually it occurred to even snap happy Joy and I that we had been hiking for a really long time. Joy's foot was starting to hurt and I was getting a little thirsty and Bob admitted to being a wee bit tired, so we hoped to soon come across a primary trail again so we could leave the loop-de-loops. When you don't actually know where you are going and you've been hiking for hours, and the trail just keeps looping around in a crazy way, even though it's silly, for a split second, it might possibly cross your mind that you are were in a maze and are never getting out. Just for the briefest moment you might panic just the teensiest bit. No one would ever blame you!! But I didn't panic. Not me. I knew that we would find out way. And, of course, eventually we did. Huzzah! The main trail!
When we got back to the car and checked our step counters, it appeared that we had walked some 14,288 steps! Woohhoo! Now THAT is a walk! And of course, we got to spend time together. And we got some good photos. Bonus points, Bob bought lunch. ;)
So here you go, some of the photos from the hike of many trails. First, some of the different kinds of trails that we were on that day:
And then of course, some of the wonderful things we saw along the way!
Anyway, it was quite the adventure! We had a marvelous time!
I wish you all great adventures!
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.