My hike this Saturday contained many special elements. First, my wife hiked with me. Cathy and I drove to Hueston Woods State Park (about 40 min southwest of our home) and enjoyed an autumn walk together. The day began with a cold rain but like a real trouper, Cathy was in the lead treading down the leaf-covered path. After an hour of wet and cold, we almost called it a day, but decided to try a trail down by Acton Lake. The rain began to calm itself and the lake trail served as a nice umbrella to help the damp couple dry out a bit. By the end of the second hour, the day was developing into more comfortable weather which led to a few more miles of adventure. By the time we reached the car for the return trip to Springboro, we had logged in 4 ¾ hours and about 12 miles. And the sun was beginning to shine.
Second, Cat and I saw several special birds. Down by the lake we observed two Great Blue Herons. Further down the trail, two or three more herons made us hold our breath to see their takeoff. Watching them take flight and spreading those powerful long wings is spectacular. I love to see them soar and catch the wind drafts like skillful aviators. The rather awkward bird on land becomes the epitome of grace in the sky. In contrast, we saw two wild turkeys strutting through the woods like important dignitaries on their way to a feast (maybe they were invited as the guests of honor… or maybe the main course on the menu). They didn’t stop to talk but hurried over the hill displaying a “better than thou” attitude.
Third, Cat had done her research on the park and suggested that we hike a portion of the American Discovery Trail that threaded itself through the park. The ADT stretches over 6,800 miles, covers 15 states and spans the USA from coast to coast. The eastern point of origin is Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware and the west coast terminus is Point Reyes, California. Cat and I decided to turn around after about 4 miles but it was an honor to walk a portion of this long-trail. I hope to do a little more research on this coast-to-coaster so you might hear more later.