Friday morning, b and I got up on the early side (for us) and had a quick breakfast in our favorite local diner. Then we drove south for an hour and a bit to a national forest where we heard there was lots of good hiking. One of my favorite birthday activities is to spend the day hiking in the woods with my husband.
We found the trailhead and started off. We were aiming to hike a loop and had the entire day ahead of us. Unfortunately we had to keep Pupzilla at home. She has reached an age where a day long hike is not possible and, as it was a hot and sticky day, I don't think she would have lasted an hour.
We were warned that the area was confusing and could be difficult to navigate. We had a book of trails but no map. Signs like the one above would have been helpful except the name did not actually match the trail.
I like to hike by water, like a river, lake or creek. The book mentioned several water crossings but the actual water was pretty minimal.
We saw mileage signs at the very beginning and very end of the hike. For the rest of the day, signs were few and far between.
At one point we turned onto a gravel path. It was pretty but not very challenging.
b checked his GPS at each critical juncture.
Several hours into the hike we reached a critical juncture of three trails. It coincided with what we were expecting from the little map we had in our book. Unfortunately these three trails connected twice and we thought we were at a very different juncture than we actually were. b says we committed a classic error of "bending the map."
We kept expecting to find this trail but since we weren't where we thought we were the junctures never appeared. We finally figured it out and adjusted ourselves in the right direction. We ended up on this trail but had no definitive proof until we were back at the trailhead.
Almost 5 hours and 8 1/2 mile later I was back at the car and out of my boots. It was a great hike.
We drove home, showered up and headed out to one of my favorite restaurants. The food was quite yummy. We finished the evening at one of our favorite bars, where I indulged in some chocolate mousse.
The next morning, Pumpkin came over and we ran some errands together. One of the errands was to pick up my new bicycle.
Later in the afternoon, Angel drove up and we all hung out in the backyard while b grilled us up a lovely dinner.
Earlier in the day I had baked my favorite cake (chocolate with peanut butter frosting) and I had been making ice cream all week. I ended up with three pints: coffee (decaf), cinnamon, and chocolate. We headed inside as the sun went down and tried them all.
Angel had to drive home so he could work in the morning but Pumpkin spent the night. We stayed up and watched one of my favorite movies: Orlando. Pumpkin didn't like it all that much and napped through most of it. Sunday morning she left to attend her friends' graduation and b and I spent a very laid back day together.
All-in-all it was a very lovely weekend but I am looking forward to getting back to my usual routine.