Saturday morning (April 16), Rocky and I watched our four grandchildren. We had a great time with iPads, tea parties, and a treasure hunt for fruit snacks. The kids came over to “Mimi and Poppy’s” house around 8:15 and their mom picked them up about 10:45. It is enjoyable to spend time with them and see them grow up right before our eyes.
After the visit, Rocky and I decided to throw a backpack filled with hiking essentials (water, first aid kit, a couple of snacks, and sunglasses) into the trunk along with our trekking poles and to head out for a two hour hike in the woods. We wanted to catch some of the early spring wildflowers and the day was absolutely perfect – warm temperatures without a cloud in the bright blue skies.
We headed for Caesar Creek, one of my favorite local hiking spots. We arrived at the state park at noon feeling energized and excited about our adventure on such a beautiful day. With our lunch safely stored on my back, I remembered a special picnic table down by the lake that I thought would be a great place to pause and enjoy the breeze off the lake.
What I failed to remember was the distance and time involved to reach that picnic table. It took about two hours of pretty rugged hiking to reach the table on the beach. It was a great spot but the thought of turning around and hiking back the way we came did not appeal to either of us. Rocky asked how far it was to complete the loop trail and not retrace our path. We quickly did some math and figured that we were close to the 5 mile marker and the loop was 12.7 miles.
After discussing the pro and cons, we decided to continue on and do the loop! At 5:30 we arrived back at the parking lot, exhausted and elated. Our feet hurt but our spirits soared. We were glad that the circle was completed but celebrated with high fives and fist bumps. Rocky and Rowdy setting some records. Longest hike this year…. a loop trail without getting lost…. both of us making it from the garage to the living room without a leg cramp after sitting in the car for the 25 minute ride home from the park. As we chowed down on delicious food for dinner, neither of us had a solid conviction that we would be able to successfully stand up the following morning.
With all the background story aside, the hike was glorious. The occasional breezes coming off the lake made the trek quite comfortable. The natural air-conditioning helped to clear the mind and remove stress. The blue skies lifted our spirits heavenward and the wildflowers dotted the trail with life and spring and color. By the end our feet hurt but smiles ruled the day. We plopped into our Civic but breathed the air of accomplishment. Our senses were filled with God’s creation and our emotions were packed with peace and joy. It was a good day!