Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spring Chicks Hike in May

It is a lot greener and cheerier around the 11-mile sign post in May than it was in April. These women are still smiling after several hours of hiking 11 miles on the 17-mile scout trail at Oak Openings Preserve near Toledo, Ohio. That is Lynn (age 50) with the walking stick she bought in the Smokies. Marita (age 65) is wearing the Swan Creek Day Breakers tee shirt which she designed. Marita and Lynn smiled even bigger when they finished the last 5 miles!

This is the group which started the hike. From left to right: Lynn, Pat, Marita, Susan, and me. Pat (age 53) and Susan (age 62) had intended to hike a section of the trail. They ended up walking further than they had ever walked before!
I must give all of the women credit for even showing up at 8 am last Saturday. It was raining and cool. They could have stayed home in bed. I'm so proud to associate with women who leave fear and laziness behind and step out for change and challenge.

This spring hike was not an easy one. Much of the trail was covered in water and had to be hopped from log to log, or we would scout a way through the woods to get around the standing water and boot-sucking mud. Pat is balancing well here!

Then we had some dry areas like the oak/blueberry forest pictured below in which Susan is leading the group. Can you see the yellow blaze on the tree in the left foreground? That's the color you follow to find your way along the entire 17-mile scout trail (which is really only 15 1/2 miles due to rerouting around wet areas).

The trail weaves through much more than wetlands, flood plains, and flatwoods dotted with vernal pools in the preserve's 6000 acres. We enjoyed the filtered light of the savannas, prairies with blooming blue lupine, whimsical pine plantations, and cactus-studded sand dunes. The migrating songbirds whizzed around us and stopped us in our tracks with their chorus echoing overhead. Deer spotted us while we took our breaks. Sweet aromas stimulated deep, deep breaths. And safe completion boosted self-esteem and self-confidence.

Congratulations to Susan, Pat, Lynn, and Marita! I mention your ages so we all know that even "old" spring chicks can....can....can.....and can!

1 comment:

Louise Kahle said...

I have really enjoyed your posting about all your adventures! You are truly doing what you love every day!
I hope to see you soon at a WEN meeting!