Monday, February 15, 2010

Passing Through Spider Kingdom

Hope everyone had a very fine Valentine’s Day.  We certainly did.  After a few chores in the morning, we spent the afternoon on our computers.  I finally got set up on Facebook.  That had been a hard decision for me to make; I’m not sure why.  The Wandering Wishnies got me to thinking about it over a year ago and I’ve been thinking about it all this time.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing, or supposed to do, or something.

My sweetie took me out to dinner last night.  Even got dessert--how special is that.

Today we went back to Juniper Prairie Wilderness to finish what we started last week.  We drove around to the north end of that section down a dirt road to the small trailhead parking lot.  We had 4 miles to connect to the section we had hiked previously.  It was a good hike, but not high on the scenic meter.  This area had a lot of hurricane damage a few years ago and has since burned.  New growth is started, but it will be a few years before it is back to “normal”.

The trail meanders between and around numerous ponds.  I just love the long grasses of the prairie.

It is easy terrain so we marched right along.  Just before we got to the place where we stopped on our first hike here, we saw smoke in the not so far distance.  We walked on about five more minutes and noticed that the smoke was getting much worse.  Since getting caught in a wildfire was not on the agenda, we immediately turned around and headed back to the truck.
Easy hiking but not so scenic through the burned areas.
We found ourselves a lunch spot between two ponds.  We seemed much farther from the smoke and the wind was blowing in the opposite direction.  We decided we would take our chances with the alligators in the pond if the fire got too close.  As it turned out, we had found a great lunch spot.  It appeared to be a backcountry campsite although there were no posted signs.  It had clearly been used as a campsite.  We settled in on the logs which had been placed in front of a fire ring and ate our lunch while keeping one eye on the smoke.

We always try to do our part to keep the trails clean by packing out trash we find along the way.  We found two special treats today.  Gene spotted a shiny object sticking out of the sand.  When he pulled on it, a watch came out.  Even though it was a Timax, it wasn’t ticking and won’t ever tick again I’m afraid.  We carried it out to the trash can.  The real prize was my find.  While stepping off the trail behind the bushes, I found a Gerber knife.  Gene cleaned it up after we got home and will try to sharpen the blade.  We’ll drop it in a hiker box one of the days.  Someone will be glad to get it.

While Gene was looking up the knife on the internet, he discovered the latest in Swiss Army Knives.  Some now come with 2 gig flash drives.  Remarkable.
Time to get out of here
I have not forgotten about the electric ears.  That story will have to wait until later in the week.  Tomorrow we have a visit scheduled with one of Gene’s cousins whom he has never met before.  We are looking forward to that visit.  The story of how they found each other is interesting and I’ll tell that tomorrow.

That’s all for today.

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