Monday, April 27, 2015

Wheeler Walk

Finished up last week with 17.5 miles total!  

Yesterday, Matt and I hit the Refuge for a long walk, 11 miles in one go.  Now I just need to get 4 more this week to meet my 15 mile a week goal,  hahaha.   (update, 3, I just did a lap at the track!)

Leather Flower

Osprey nest, with mated pair!

Blue eyed grass

Blue star

Morning Star Sedge

This canal was so full of snakes, turtles and gar that it would be a good place to dump a body.

I call this one 'WWBD?'



The plan was to hang out under the bridge for lunch, but Matt could not get his hammock up.

Violets, corn salad, poison oak

The bridges are this huge monolith type things after all the wide open space.

This walk WORE ME OUT.  Way more than Richard Martin, which was a longer walk and had hills.  The going theory is that RM has a definitive turn around, so I knew how much longer we had to go.  I hate thinking I am that wimpy, but...we did start out walking 4, 5, 6 miles and then moved up to doing 10+ most weekends before I hurt myself last year and re-hurt my fool self in March.  My stamina is shot, but I am getting there!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bucks Pocket

Oh my gosh.  I am SO glad to see some sun lately!

The SEC called to say Jake and Chan had not been selected for the summer program.  They were both really disappointed, but hopefully it will work out for the best.  Phoenix did get selected, so we are all hoping she has a great time.  It's only 5 weeks for the younger age level, so we are also hoping she won't get camped out on her adventure so we can get in some trips with the Lackey's before summer is over.  We have already started making plans for some adventures!

Got the whole yard mowed other than a few stands of wildflowers because, bees.  Set up the tent and nearly killed myself spraying it and coating the seams-that tent is giant.  Ben was screaming that I had doomed him because the wind kicked up and he got a good coat of spray.  He's convinced he'll die of dehydration now that he can't take in water.  

We had been looking back over photos and trips and decided we needed to go back to Buck's Pocket State Park and then the budget crisis loomed and the were going to close it at the end of the month.  Next week.  So I sent out a message and Amanda and Melanie were free to join us!  We met up and played in the creek, walked to the primitive camping area-stopping to play in the creek-and then drove to the overlook.  It was a beautiful day!  Ben went home with Elan and he's staying until Friday when we will meet back up.  Elan just got a paddleboard, I am pretty excited about that!  I have been wanting to try one, so be prepared for that update-hopefully not from my hospital bed, hahaha!  They are going to get it out this afternoon, I am interested to hear how Ben likes it.

(oh, just got a call, I will be seeing him today because he wants his retainer!)
(update, the weather was too chilly, so they both ended up coming back home with me.)

Jake was sad most of the day.  He's been having a rough go and getting turned down for yet another thing set all that back off again.

The water is way up!

The kids mark another culvert off their life list.  I think this makes 150 at least.

I wear all the hats.

There is a little campsite here, I hope we return soon with our gear!  The sound of the water running by was so soothing.

Moving around in the sunshine-best way to combat the blues!

Melanie is not blue!

Chan, feeling fine!

The boys decided swimming was on the agenda.  It was 70 degrees and while sunny, still breezy and the water was under 60 degrees.  And they are in cotton. 

Things about millipedes:
They do not have 1,000 legs.  They have 2 pairs of legs per body segment.
They can emit various chemicals to make themselves less tasty.
They can live up to 7 years.
Fossil records show millipedes to be one of the first animals to walk on land.
Ancient millipedes could reach lengths of over 6 feet long.

Sweet shrub


Wild geranium

Cumberland Spurge

Silver bells

Proper trail etiquette!  Going through the mud keeps the trail from becoming wider and muddier

Jack in the pulpit


one of the vacciniums, I think maybe blueberry

Mountain Laurel

At this point, Melanie and I were complaining QUITE a bit about the park closings.  That has to be the stupidest plan, ever.  On the way home, Amanda sent word that they were not closing after all!  Then I read up and saw they are still on the block-but not yet.  What stress and hassle.

I will say my piece here:  The state parks are set aside for the people of the state.  They are not meant to bring in money FOR the state and taking the money allotted to run them to use for other things is crap.  Alabama is filled with fat people with health problems.  To make it even more difficult to get outdoors somewhere to have a walk or enjoy the day with family is ridiculous.  There are other places to get the money and in the long run, closing and then at some distant point, reopening the parks is going to cost SO much more than just keeping them open.  Repairs, graffiti removal, cleaning-not to mention it would take ONE idiot to trespass and fall off a cliff to sue the state for the $11 million they wanted to steal to do WHAT exactly toward a $300 million debt? They have already taken nearly $20 million from the parks, they run on a shoestring as it is.

This had us horrified.  Stripperman toy and WHAT is Lex Luthor doing?  eeee

Waffle cone is the best!

The only damper on the day was driving in, the cleaning is still going on next door and they left even more trash bags piled outside of the can.  So dogs came and tore them open for the fun of it.  There was trash ALL over Judy's yard, in the road and off into the woods across the road.  We picked up as much as would fit in the can and rebagged as much of the rest as we could with the bags that were there. There was broken glass IN the road from a Crown Royal bottle, so we had to go get a rake and shovel and clean that up.  I know it will happen more times, I don't want Jessie and Kuma getting blamed, I KNOW they did not do it.  The can was sitting on some of the trash after the auto-lift arm picked it up and set it back down, which means it was strewn overnight before the trash ran at 7.  My dogs were inside all night and the gates were latched all day.  Besides, I just saw it's all over the place again this morning when I let them out.  GARH.