Training Hike Numero Uno

I have a problem…

Sometimes I get too excited and act on impulse without thinking things through.

I was determined to go on a training hike with my pack on Sunday.  Any normal human would have realized that maybe a blazing hot 95 degree day isn’t the best day to start training with a pack. But I reasoned with myself that if I waited for the perfect conditions, I would only hike around 30 days out of the year. So, I went for it.

I hiked the 12 mile Red Cedar Trail around the perimeter of Giant City Park. For Illinois, this trail has some pretty steep climbs.

Mistake #1-

Not turning around when I noticed the trail conditions.  Even early in June the trail was overgrown and under-maintained. If I hadn’t hiked it before, I would have been completely lost.  Some parts were almost impassable. I should have brought a machete! (joking, but almost necessary).  As a result of the overgrowth, I had at least 15 ticks on me throughout the day. I stopped to check frequently and got most of them off before they implanted their evil heads into my skin.

To add to my fight against the shrubbery, I walked around carrying a giant stick to beat down all of the spider webs.  The branch I was waving looked like the scene from Shrek when he wrapped up a web treat for Fiona.  If I went 5 minutes without breaking a web I considered it lucky. Statistically, with all of the spiders I saw and how many of their homes I ruined, I expected to get bitten, and I did. I had no reaction to it, so that was a win. At one point I looked down and a spider had made a web underneath my right boob to the top of my water bottle… excellent.

Mistake #2-

Putting a bunch of bananas in my bag. Mixed with the heat and all of the bumping around, the bananas were black mush by the time I stopped to eat them. Rooky mistake. Go ahead, poke fun at me. I deserve it.

Mistake #3-

Wearing cotton. Enough said.

The rest of the hike was all together shambly.  There were more embarrassing fails during the course of the day, but considering this is only my second post, I have to leave more of my flaws and tales of my lack of coordination for future posts.

The take home:

Even though the day was pretty much a fail, I learned a lot and, still, I had a lot of fun. After I embraced the suck, I was able to laugh at myself.  It really could have been worse, and I’m lucky the day turned out as well as it did in the end.

Would I wake up and do it again for 5 months? Hell yes. But hopefully with less ticks. For health’s sake.



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