Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Labor Day weekend nature review

Labor Day weekend started with a 10 mile hike that was more workout or homework than relaxing and enjoyable. Now the locale was visually appealing, but this was a training hike by the pace that was set.

Now Sunday was a hike to look around, keep a slow pace and get some photos. Well that is what we were planning.

We zipped over to the Raccoon Lake state park and while the majority of people there were boating or swimming, we hit the trail.

Raccoon Lake is not off the beaten path, but is far enough out from major civilization. A small peninsula encompasses the trails, swimming and camp ground. There are a series of smaller trails that make up some six odd miles and range from moderate to rugged per the little trail guide.

We picked trail #1 and saw it was moderate. Having burned our legs out the previous day on a hill filled course we wanted a more laid back route. Around a lake and rated moderate we thought that would be fine. Moderate usually means a few subtle rises and hills. Well it usually means that everywhere else we have went in the past. Strange that it said that this trail #1 was expected to take an hour and a ½ to complete.

Holy crap were we surprised! Our trail was a plethora of winding hillsides, and a surprising amount of constantly going up. Moderate has never encompassed that much climbing. A leisure hike had just become work. It did take every bit of an hour and ½ to punch through this trail.


Now we aren’t entirely sure it was really that bad. The previous day had tested us punching through 10 miles of heat and hills in three hours. We are guessing our legs were either still tired or that we just suck.

Aside from that, the park is descent. The wooded areas, at times, have a very Amon Hen appearance like when Boromir is running around wrecking Urk hai. The hills and dunes make for a good bit of scenery. It looked like there had been a lot of washouts and flooding from earlier in the summer. A few of the trails were washed out badly, a few bridges had been washed away along with a lot of small trees, previously fallen trees and general forest floor detritus.

I used the D.E.N.N.I.S. system to demonstrate my worth, by building a makeshift bridge out of the remains and logs to get my lady across the bog of eternal stench

The remains of Payne Cemetery along the trail

Restless spirits abound thanks to this defiled grave site.

The downside was the sheer amount of boats on the lake, but it was to be expected being Labor Day weekend.

We are planning a return to hit all the trails and conquer this place! It surprised us, but that will not happen a second time! Plus we will have fresh legs and not a 90 degree day when we return.

A decent place to hike with some scenic hills and forest surrounded by a lake on three sides.

No comments:

Post a Comment