It was a favorite pastime. Once we went to Greenbo Lake State Park in Kentucky. It was March. Early in our empty nester experience we could simply pack a bag and leave for a couple days. It takes more planning these days.
That March about twenty years ago the weather was predicted to be swell. We had no plans for anything so we left town to go hiking in the woods.
It seems like a long time ago now.
When we left on one of these spontaneous hiking excursions the first thing Cheryl would do is collect all the park maps with trails. This time she selected an eight mile loop around the woods near the lake. I can still hear her say, it’s only eight miles. I probably said okay without any follow up questions, such as, how far to the trail head?
Two miles was that answer.
We had breakfast that morning in the park Lodge. As an aside, Kentucky has always done a great job with their state parks. My parents took our family when we were children and we took our kiddos when they were children. Cheryl and I stayed at one on our frugal honeymoon. We started revisiting that particular park after our silver wedding anniversary and enjoyed our time in that part of south central Kentucky for many years after.
With her latest nuance of Parkinson in our life we no longer visit these hilly hiking arenas. We have become flat-earthers in so far as hiking is concerned.
After breakfast we took off at a rapid clip towards the trail head. In March in eastern Kentucky the landscape is still grays and muted browns but here and there early spring bloomers appear. I am not a skilled horticulturist but crocus seem to like hillsides and cool weather. On this day however the weather was perfect for hiking. A warm sunny day in early Spring lifts one’s spirits and makes me hunger for summer. I was hiking with the love of my life and we were enjoying the day.
About two thirds of the way around our loop we discovered a fire ring with some log benches and a nice view of the lake, so we rested for a bit and enjoyed the view of the lake and listened to the squirrels hunting up their caches of sustenance that had been stored the previous Autumn.
A few minutes later the squirrels and the other small wildlife scattered as a group of what turned out to be young scouts smashed their way down the trail from the opposite direction with something much less than a stealthy hike to their fire circle. We exchanged greetings and moved on with the rest of our hike. As we left we could here the scouts chitting and chatting between themselves. How did those old people get way out here? Are they lost do you think?
Cheryl and I giggled and talked about it all the way back to the lodge for a little lunch. Lunch was very good that day. The Lodge food operation had a buffet set up with soups and salad and my favorite, corn bread. I had about three bowls of bean soup. It has heavenly and the corn bread was shaped into pancakes, not the johnny cake that we city folks are used to eating.
It was a five hour trip as I recall. The bean soup was much appreciated. The nap afterwards was well deserved.