Saturday, May 4, 2013

Comfort-Zone Hike: Fuel For The Soul

After a stomach-bug took me out for the whole day yesterday, I was worried about being too far away from a bathroom as well as dealing with lingering weakness from laying in bed all day. Charlie, however, was not going to let me off the hook; she needed a walk. And not just a lame walk around the neighborhood, she wanted to RUN. Also, she has this uncanny ability to tell when it's Saturday. And we always hike on Saturday.
Rather than trying to find a new hiking spot with unfamiliar trails, I decided we'd head over to my favorite park, Big Eau Pleine.

This park is like comfort food to me. I know our "regular" trail, I know how long it'll take us, I know where the bathrooms are, and I also know there will rarely be anyone else there. Charlie had a great time! She was happily tired by the time we got back to the parking lot and the fresh air helped me feel a lot better.

It turned out to be a much warmer day than expected - 73 degrees! I would have been grateful for some shade today, but you really can't complain on a day like this - although the ticks are out in full force. Charlie had her tick treatment last weekend (which is supposed to repel ticks), but still had some crawling on her. They are just so gross. If you don't have ticks in your neck of the woods, consider yourself lucky!

The fish were jumping along the shore and landing with big *SLAPS* on the water as ominous shadows from bald eagles and hawks followed above. Charlie was so curious about the fish jumping and swam out to investigate, only to be disappointed when she found nothing there.

We could use some shade here.

The grass is trying really hard to grow, but there's not much "green" yet. The tiny buds on the trees are just about ready to burst open. We might even have some shade by next weekend! It always amazes me how quickly everything blooms during the first couple weeks of May. All of a sudden it will be June and summer will be in full-swing.

There's a tiny frog on that rock!
We took occasional breaks in the private picnic shelters along the trail, while I continued to search for the hidden car key... with no luck, again. I have a feeling that after all this searching, Marathon County will be eliminated from the running in my next issue of Our Wisconsin magazine. Such is my luck.

No hidden key here.
At the very end of our hike, I saw a loon on the lake! I've never seen one here before. I hope it sticks around for the summer... there's nothing more beautiful than the sound of the loons while camping on a warm, starry night. I will be camping in this park within the next month, so I'll be sure to listen for the loon-song.

There's a loon in this photo.
It was good to be in a comfortable place today. As it turns out, I needed the renewing feeling of being surrounded by trees, sky, and water.

Fuel for the soul.