Shine said that it was a beautiful morning for a hike. Let's head to the Never-never Land trail.
"22° is not that bad. Look the sun is shining and we can just go be in the woods. No worries. Just good smells and sights. I NEED to stop and smell the poo," she says. Or maybe it was my conscience encouraging me too, excepting the part about the poo.
Although just slightly reluctant due to the cold, I was game. I dropped the boy off at carpool and headed to the trailhead. I thought it would be a good place to have a little alone time before the hike so I brought a small cup of coffee. She waited patiently.
Shine was right. It was a beautiful morning for a hike. The normally dry trails are rushing creeks now. I love how the rushing water looks in the dead of winter. So crisp, so clear and clean. Good thing my shoes are waterproof, you know, as long as it doesn't go above the ankle. Heh.
One particular part of the trail was deep in water and completely saturated. This was at the beginning. The fire road was pretty dry so I thought I would take it not knowing where I would come out but I felt confident I would recognize it when I got there. After all, I've taken the Never-never Land trail this way, that way, forwards and backwards. I always laugh at my park ranger friend who has to rescue hikers out here. "It's 3 miles. It's a loop! It's just one big circle," I say and laugh, "How do people get lost out there??"
Well, today I found out. I came out the other side of the fire road discombobulated. But not for long. I realized pretty quickly I was looped back the other way to head where I entered. Which means I wouldn't be able to bypass the boggy mess on the trail when I first detoured. We forged ahead and enjoyed the views and stopped and listened to the rushing creeks and waterfalls. You have to enjoy it now during the wet season because the dry season is drier than dry.
The birds added to the views as well as the cacophony of sounds. Music to my ears. I heard woodpeckers, finches, hawks, and one that sounded like an owl but seemed out of place and time, so not quite sure. Nonetheless, the sights, sounds, touch of the moss, and smells (bypassing the poo for me but Shine enjoyed immensely) were heaven on Earth.
All in all, quite the bonus. I saw the trail like I hadn't seen it before. AND I got about 8500 steps. Taking the loop straight through would usually get me about 5000 steps.
At the end of my hike, I ran into one of the park's maintenance men who was headed out with a chain saw to clear the debris from the storms 2 days ago. The trails were in pretty good shape considering. We also talked about how Forever Wild just obtained about 240 acres across the street from my house. I'm not sure if they're giving the land to Desoto State Park of just granting them access, but the park has permission to carve out public access trails there. I'm over the moon excited. I'll be able to walk out my door and explore. Not that I don't do that now, but something new and exciting is always welcome.
The older doggies were jealous but this hike was a bit too much for them. The guys promised to take them to the waterfall behind the house this afternoon, so all is not lost and we will have a house full of content pooches.