Monday, July 17, 2017

The Stanley Chronicles: Turkey Run 2017: Day 3; Moderate My @ss

The raccoons were quieter last night. Either that or I was so exhausted I slept through them.  When we wake up we see more of those big, dark, roiling clouds heading towards us. Weather alerts are showing 80% chance of severe thunderstorms for the area. The fateful decision is made. After breakfast we break camp and prepare to head home. No real point in staying another day/night if all it's going to do is rain and packing up while raining is suckage in the extreme, nevermind having to haul everything back out later to get cleaned and dried.

Everything comes down pretty quickly.  Shaking the tent cover off and spraying everyone gave the neighbors some entertainment for the morning. Surprisingly I manage to stuff the tent and cover into the zip case for it.  I'm going to have to find a better solution.  Thinking perhaps some of those old swedish duffel bags I have.  Those would be just about the right size.  Some re-arranging of supplies was needed but everything fit back in the van just like it should. I even added a few square inches for the kids to move around.

Since it's still early, I suggest that we hit one more short hike.  Trail 7 is right off the campground, rated 'moderate' and not even 3/4 of a mile.  Perfect way to close out the trip.  I go w/ (slightly damp) sneakers and socks since the blister on my foot is really smarting and I'm not expecting any water wading.  I also pull out my newly acquired hiking stick that I picked up from the camp store.  Finally, after years of wanting one, I found one that struck me.  Not literally, but it felt like it.  The one that as soon as I saw it I went "Yep, that's the one".

Apparently the word 'Moderate' has a different definition in Indiana than it does in Illinois.

We enter the trail and take the right fork.  From there the trail just drops and then turns into near vertical rock steps and steep wooden steps for about a 1/4 mile until it reached the bottom of a ravine. "Moderate" my @ss.

Down at the bottom was a nice pool at the bottom of a small waterfall and bowl that the kids played in for quite a while. The view was spectacular.


After the bit of play and much splashing, we started heading down the ravine.  It was hazy and really pretty.  Shortly in though, we ran into a pair of hikers, father and son, who told us the way was flooded out a few hundred yards further in.  We decided to go as far as we could.

Now when we got to the flooded out area the view was breathtaking.  Through pure luck, I took some of the best photos I've ever done.

Seriously, I love these pictures.  I couldn't repeat it if I tried.

After this we turned around and headed back.  Tentatively thinking of going the other direction of the fork, when we got back to the top,our legs were just about done. Time to head back and out.

We hauled ourselves to the van, sucked down some cool drinks, and said goodbye to the campsite.  Depositing our tag into the box, we hit the road and headed home.  On the way, the A/C caused my calves to cramp up.  It was really not easy to walk when we got back.  The kids hauled everything out of the car and we got the cooler food into the fridge/freezer.  They became supper for the next few days. 

Of course we picked up a few souvenirs.  I found some patches (the only place selling them was the Inn), pin, and a 'medallion' for the hiking stick.

We are so going to do this again.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Stanley Chronicles: Turkey Run 2017: Day 2B; Pferderostbraten und Regen

Following our lunch, we went back to the park. I switched to jeans and boots in lieu of shorts and sandals. More on the why of that later in the post.   Now the issue we ran into w/ going for a horse back ride (besides being expensive) was they didn't take cards.  Cash or Check only.  I only had about $40 in cash w/ me, don't normally carry an ATM card (which could have been used at the Inn), and we weren't 100% sure if the CinC, the only one w/ a checkbook, had enough unaccounted for funds to cover it.

We took the risk and went for the check. They all REALLY wanted to go for this ride.  The ladies at the stables were all very friendly and sarcastic.  My signature (such as it is) on the waivers for liability garnered much chuckling. They totally understood when I said 'prior service' as apparently most of their husbands were military as well.

Yeah. Waivers of liability.  Apparently (though totally unsurprisingly) some people get stupid and the stables don't want to get sued.  One boy (about 10 iirc) leaped off his horse about halfway through the hour long ride.  About 30-40 min in, I understood maybe why he did.

At this point it's even more hot and humid.  We go out to the lot and are given the instructions to wait until told what to do. We are assigned horses.  Line up, and are helped up.
CinC: Dusty , the lead
5P: Tar   , a mellow one good for little kids
4PA: Nicky, more spirited.
Me: Martha, stubborn old nag, also the biggest in the lot.
4PB: Gumby, a mellow big'gun.


 Some pushing and shoving got my non-bendy legs and gut up onto the horse. This is the last time I'll be smiling for at least an hour.

Then we head off onto the trail at a casual saunter.  The horses have done this a million times and know exactly where to go.  4PA kept up a constant chatter that the ladies guiding had a blast w/.  Took some photos but didn't have the camera on 'sport' setting so most came out blurry. I did get a couple of clear pics and a 5 min video which I won't be uploading since it's over 400mb. About 30-40 min in, I started to hurt. Then I started to really hurt.  Of course I wasn't going to stop everyone and just dealt w/ it. 

 So we get back to the lot and the stupid nag I was on refused to go back to her spot.  Apparently she has a habit of doing that.  One of the ladies took her by the halter and got her over there then helped me off, my leg WAY up in the air in the process.  Again, I don't bend that much.  After I got off the horse, that's when the fun began (sarcasm emoji).

Everything turned white. For all intents and purposes, this is what things looked like to me.

I'm guessing a mix of the heat and all the blood rushing to different places after being restricted in the saddle.  Took me a bit to walk back to the van and get my head clear with some A/C and a couple of cool drinks.  This was the rest of the family's favorite part of the trip. Next time I'll pass.

After my vision returned to normal and things stopped spinning, we took a trip to Crawsfordsville about a half hour away for some ice and a few odds and ends.  More Gatorade, a little coffeemaker, some utensils.  The usual kind of supply trip.  And we saw clouds.  Not the nice, white, fluffy kind but nasty dark grey ones moving w/ a vengeance right towards the campground.  By the time we got back, it had started drizzling.  Then it started raining.  Then rained some more.  We sequestered ourselves in the tent hoping that it wouldn't last forever and we'ld be able to cook out and continue our evening.  It lasted about 2 hrs so we all took naps, read, and chatted.  The tent itself did quite well.  A few tiny damp spots right by tight seams but overall kept the rain out. Not bad for a medium quality buy.

The result of my Ho Chi Min's on a 'Very Rugged' trail.

While we were all relaxing, my legs decided to start cramping up.  I experienced the same thing way back when in Navy boot camp in Orlando so I knew it was from salt/mineral loss during the days.  It hurt so bad but I couldn't stop laughing.  CinC looked at me like I was crazy.  You could actually see the muscles straining in my calves and thighs.

When the rain eased up, I went to the camp office and looked at the weather radar.  It showed it was supposed to be clear.  As I was walking back to the campsite, it started raining again.  This went on and off for a bit as more rain kept appearing over and around us. Finally decided to call grilling dogs and we drove back to Rocksville for BK again (a group decision).  It continued to rain on and off for the next few hours. When it got darker though, it cleared up a bit and we lit up the campfire to finish off the marshmellows and tell more stories.

We hit the sleeping bags sometime after 11pm.  4PA started a giggling fit that infected everyone else.  Other than that, the night was relatively quiet.

Tomorrow is up in the air. Severe thunderstorms are predicted.  We'll play it by ear.