Monday, January 9, 2012

Muddy Boots

Oddly, winter hasn’t come to my section of the country yet and I have really been enjoying it. I have kayaked and hiked well into the winter months, a first for me. I know the snow will come, but to put up with it for 8 weeks instead of 12 or 16 will make it a relatively easy season.
To clarify, I am not a hiker; they are in shape and know what they’re doing. I am just an old fat lady who likes to tromp through the woods. Someday, I would like to tromp the 220-mile length of Michigan’s Shore-To-Shore Trail, so I keep plodding towards that goal.

Yesterday, I drove to Ohio’s Firelands area and hiked at Findley State Park. What a fun trip! It used to be a state forest and has a good-sized lake, a disc golf course and a 9-mile mountain biking trail. Best of all for me, Ohio’s 1,400-mile Buckeye Trail runs through the park; I can finally say that I’ve been on it!

I’ve never seen such muddy trails! The mud even pulled one of my (low-rise) hiking boots off my foot! I got lost, thanks to the signs for an organized hike to be held next month which used the same color arrows as the Buckeye Trail’s blue blazes. (What in blue blazes were they thinking?!?)
Of course, I fell in the mud, while trying to avoid it by walking the length of a fallen tree. Luckily, I didn’t get covered in mud, because my back and rear were perched on the tree. My shoulder blades, though, were on the ground. Now, work up a mental picture of that, and then imagine an overweight, middle-aged woman trying to get up from that position, all while trying not to touch too much of the mud-covered ground . . . Utterly hysterical!
When you’re in the woods and something is moving quickly at a distance, your eyes play tricks on you. You think you see something moving, but you’re not certain. This kept happening, and finally I just stopped to stare in the same space between trees. 16 deer passed! I later met a park employee who said they have a population of 75 – 100.
I was covered in mud and had to strip down to my long johns when I got back to the car. Dirty and tired = the best measure of how good a time you had . . .

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