Lost on the Trail

This story is based on real events.

Since Hubby and I moved, we’ve been hiking at Brukner Nature Center to get some exercise. Usually, we hike for about 30 minutes. It’s nice because we get to view nature, have some talk time, and exercise. Even better is that, even though the nature center closes at 5pm, the trails are open until sunset.

And thank God for that.

Today, Hubby and I decided that we needed some exercise and to unwind a bit. What to do? Brukners!

We headed down the closest trail from where we parked. No worries. We talked a bit, I stopped to take pictures, and we enjoyed the green starting to show.  We headed down “Pioneer Trail” which I dubbed “The Green Path Between the Trees”. We suddenly came to a stop as the trail ended without warning. Oh well. We turned around and headed the other direction, snapping photos of some pretty purple flowers along the way.

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Pioneer Trail The Green Path Between the Trees

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Purple flowers poking through.

We continued on, trying our best to find ways around the muddy areas, until we couldn’t talk anymore because we were out of breath. What do you know? Outlook Point was straight ahead.

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Outlook Point

There were benches where we could catch our breath, and a wonderful view where we could lose it, again.
At one point, an argumentative group of people walked past on one of the paths below. I tried to get Hubby to yell “Hello,” with me, but I was the only one who did. Alas, no one played along and the group ended up going their separate ways, yelling at one another.
“Why aren’t people sociable, anymore?” I asked Hubby.
“Socializing would be actually going down there and introducing yourself,” he claimed.
“I prefer distanced socializing,” I informed him.

We headed back to the trails after getting one last view from Outlook Point.

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The View

We decided to go down some trails we had never tried before. Now, mind you, we had left the convenient map at home. The one we paid $0.25 for in the gift shop the first time we were at Brukners. We didn’t let this thwart our adventures! Off we went, selecting trails based solely on how they looked at the time.
As per usual, this became somewhat of a problem. We had ventured so far on unfamiliar trails that we began to wonder whether we would make it back to the parking lot before the sun set.

It didn’t help that the trail markers were usually of no use or, sometimes, outright wrong.

A helicopter flew overhead and I asked Hubby if we should set up a smoke signal.
“Maybe they’ll hear me if I shout HELLO! really loudly,” I quipped.
“Just keep walking,” Hubby sighed.

Walk we did. Right into a trail called the Buckeye Loop. I figured it meant “loop” as in, “Hi, I’m the Buckeye Loop Trail and I will eventually loop back around to the parking lot.”
Nope. It meant loop as in, “Hi, I’m the mother fucking Buckeye Loop Trail and I’m going to tease you into thinking you’re headed back to your car for some much needed rest and relief. Jokes on you, though! We’re going to go waaaaaay out this way and then loop back around to the super steep hill you think you’re avoiding by taking me. HAHA!”

Bitch.

Partway through the Bitcheye Loop Trail, we spotted stairs. Oh sweet mercy, there is a god! Stairs!

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Stairs never look so damn good!

Unfortunately, we seemed to get further from the stairs. Neither Hubby nor I could figure out how to get to them short of swimming a very cold creek. I considered it, but Hubby was able to talk me into simply continuing down the trail.

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Goodbye sweet stairs!  I’ll always remember you!

We ventured up and down, and up and down some more hills.
“We came this way to avoid that super steep hill, right?” I asked Hubby.His sigh and quickened pace was the only answer I needed.

We were fortunate enough to avoid the mud and actually found some more benches! We figured that was the only break we were going to get as we watched the sun slip lower into the sky. But lo! Just around the curve….

Brukners032916Stairs3.jpg

And a choir of angels sang..

Oh sweet stairs!

Maybe the Bitch.. er.. I mean, Buckeye Loop Trail didn’t hate us afterall. It was all just to prove to ourselves how much we could.. wait.. say what?!

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The “bridge”

I looked down the path and then at Hubby.
“That is NOT a bridge.”
He just shrugged and said something upbeat and optimistic that I couldn’t hear because the trail was laughing at me and telling me that I was, in fact, it’s personal bitch now.

I went first.

I approached the “bridge” from the side and bypassed the first stone. It looked characteristically wobbly and unstable.
“I’ll just step on this sturdy looking square stone, instead,” I thought to myself.

Woops! It was the wobbly one. Thankfully, there were low-hanging branches that I was able to brace myself on.

The rest of the stones were pretty stable and I was able to make it to the other side without falling in the very cold looking water.

“Ha! Take that you Bitch Loop!” I said, as I pointed to the stones.
The only response I got from Hubby was a quizzical look that no doubt meant he was asking himself if he did, in fact, marry this woman.

As we continued down the trail and back towards the parking lot, or so we hoped, we noticed a strange sound. Well, I suppose not strange as in unusual.. We had been hearing squirrels and snakes rustle through the leaves the entire time.
But this time, it sound more like.. large strides – like large bipedal strides. I thought of yelling, “Hello!” but I was captivated by the sound. It was slow and moving closer.
Hubby and I stopped and craned our necks and eyes.

Nothing. The sound stopped. A few squirrels ran by, but not the thing that was making the noise on the other side of the steep hill.

“Probably just a teenager that wandered off the path,” I said, trying to reassure us.
Hubby gave me a look that said what I was thinking, “Nope, it’s Bigfoot.”

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Come on out, Bigfoot! We won’t hurt you!

Alas, our adventure ended when we finally spied the super steep hill.
I was panting and exhausted at this point, and not much looking forward to the climb, so I didn’t snap a picture of the monstrosity.
I’ll have to do that when we go back. *shudders*

We were able to make it back to the parking lot, after hitting the outside bathrooms, and Brukners rewarded us for our efforts with a lovely field of daffodils.. and one oddball hyacinth.

Brukners032916Daffodils.jpg

Okay.. two oddball hyacinths.

All in all, it was a good hike. Hubby came home tired “in a good way” and shortly went to bed.
I, on the other hand, am plotting my revenge for that stupid Loop Trail. . .

Dynamite. That’s it! I’ll blow it out of the sky!  HAHAHA!  *ahem*

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