Fun in the Woods!

It's 10:30 and I'm dying for something to do. Soooo tired and grouchy and just having a Monday. So I decide to go to a park near here, a nice little park with trails through the woods, one I've never been to, so it would be new and exciting for all of us, right? Uh, yep.

We parked around 11am and started into the woods. So pretty. Trees and wetlands and stream beds. We walked and walked and walked, came upon a few forks in the road and walked and walked and found a lovely meadow that spanned a good ten rolling acres and then more woodlands. And after about half an hour I start to think that maybe if we don't get to a spot where the trail seems to be turning back the way we came, we should turn around, though I didn't want to turn around, since I'd likely hear, "NOOO! We don't want to go back yet!" And anyway, I was sure the trails would be a big circle and it we'd be back to the car by 11:35 and home for lunch.

So we kept walking. After a while I began to wonder if I'd be able to retrace my steps if I needed to. But I decided not to think about that, and we kept walking. Finally, finally we came to a map. One of those You Are Here carved-in-wood maps that's half worn off, with a snaking web of trails in three different colors that twist and turn and cross over one another. And cover literally MILES. Not a neat little square like a park we've visited before. And what was worse, there were two parking areas on two different streets, about a mile apart. And of those two lots (since the roads weren't labeled on the map), I didn't know WHICH ONE we'd parked in.

I decided we'd stick with the blue trail since we'd been on it a while already and the yellow didn't look familiar, and if we ended up at the wrong parking lot, well, we'd venture back into the woods or hike along the road until we got to the right parking lot. So we walked and walked and walked and walked and made a turn and walked and walked and walked and walked. At some point St. Nick's watch beeped to let us know it was lunch time - noon. And we walked and walked some more (me carrying Pie, Fish crying). And we came to another map. Only it wasn't a new map, I discovered by the position of the YOU in the You Are Here, it was the same map! We'd made some moronic circle.

That's when I cried. And I found that this was the one spot where I got cell reception so I called Dr. D, and he amazingly didn't laugh at me but said that if I wasn't out in another half an hour, he'd come find us. So this time I smartly copied the map onto a business card in my purse and we set out again, retracing our steps through the meadow, over hills and bridges, stopping at every split for me to scout ahead for our footprints or anything I recognized and marking in the dirt the way we'd gone in case I came back to that spot again. Finally, finally, finally we found our way out. I was carrying both Pie and Fish by then. And I got in the van, called Dr. D right before he left to come find us, then took the kids to McDonald's in Ada for a very late (as in 1pm) lunch.

Marking the trail so we can find our way back...

Marking the trail so we can find our way back...

On the bright side, I no longer feel guilty for skipping my run this morning. For those reading this, I hope your Monday has been a little less ... adventuresome.