Alternative Title: The Day I Almost Strangled My Husband.
"Let's go creek-hiking" he said.
"It'll be fun." he said.
"We can't possibly get lost." he said.
You the can take the man out of Tennessee but you can't take the Tennessee out of the man.
Apparently creek-hiking is a thing in Tennessee. As in you hike through a creek....yes, through the muddy, mucky waters with the snakes and the fish and the alligators. Okay...so I guess there are no alligators in Indiana...except for the ones that were just seen in Indianapolis. Hopefully they weren't on their way to visit their cousins up in Fort Wayne.
So...on Friday, we visited a local county park and went hiking. It was a nice hike. Kinda a wimpy hike...no long trails, no getting lost, no big hills., no mountains to climb. Just an easy 1 mile stroll through the woods.
Except that the creek-hiking-loving husband spotted the creek...with lots of paths leading down to it. As we hiked along, we noticed several paths along the way that lead down to creek.
So, when he suggested going back on Sunday to actually do some REAL creek-hiking, I agreed. Because I figured we'd go through the creek a little ways and there would be lots of paths to get back up to the trail. .nice and easy. Plus, the creek looked small...I didn't think it ever got past knee-high.
Little did I know (insert maniacal laughter here)
So, just as we are arriving at the park, Greta announces that she has to go to the bathroom. If Greta had not had to use the bathroom the entire course of our afternoon could have been altered. However, she DID have to go, so instead of parking at the parking lot we were at on Friday, we drove down to the further parking lot...the one with the bathroom.
And, we decided to start hiking from there...and just find our way to the creek. This is a small county-park/nature preserve. How hard could it be? And it was super easy. We found a trail, we found our way to the creek and there were even STAIRS leading down. Stairs. It was perfect.
We were confident that if we just started hiking down the creek there would be MULTIPLE paths leading back up to the trail.
At first it was fun. The water was cooling. I had Elsa on my back in the Kozy. With a sense of high adventure, we made our way down the stream.
Then in certain parts the water got a bit deeper, up to waist high (or higher), and we had to hold John up. Ben had to hold the wallet and cell phone up above his head to keep them from getting wet (because no way was I was going hiking without a cell phone...or my wallet). But, it was fun and we kept hiking on.
Past the snake.
|Not the actual snake we saw. Because I wasn't about to risk my camera getting wet in the creek. And even if I had it, no way was I getting that close to a SNAKE.|
Past the HUGE spiders. And, when I mean HUGE, I mean HUGE, SCARY spiders.
But, we valiantly soldiered on. We weren't going to let a little thing like snakes or spiders stop us.
By and by we started to get tired and started to look for a path up the creek leading to the main trail.
So we looked....and looked...and looked. We kept walking and walking and walking and walking and walking and walking getting more and more and more tired. Because walking through a creek is NOT easy. It is way, way, way, way harder than walking on land.
But we soldiered on...just SURE that just around the NEXT bend would be a path. But the next bend came and went, and there was no path...and not at the next bend, nor the next one, nor the one after that.
It was getting late. We started creek-hiking shortly after 4 PM and it was now about 6:45 PM.
Finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally we came to a path that lead up the creek-bank.
It took some scrambling and some hand-holding but we all made it all the way up. Even me, with Elsa on my back.
That path lead to another path.
Not one we had ever seen before, but we took it anyway.
And, we walked, and walked and walked and walked...past a few smaller branch-offs, but we decided to stay on the main-looking path. We pretty much had no idea where we were and the mosquitoes were awful..but we had no choice but to keep walking, hoping it led out of the park somehow.
Until we came to a branch off and Ben was all "hey, this path leads down to the creek, we're exactly where we started. We just went in a big circle."
Insert family-wide groans here. No tears though. Amazingly enough no one cried.
So, we back-tracked. We took a branch-off path, we followed the trail.
Then we heard the BEAUTIFUL sound of traffics.....cars.......civilization. Hooray!!
We came to a parking lot.
Except it wasn't the parking lot where we parked. And, we weren't at the entrance we came in.
Somehow we ended up clear across the park at a totally different entrance.
There was nothing to do but keep walking..so we started walking down the road. We didn't get very far, before Ben flagged down a guy in a red pick-up truck
I prayed, he wasn't an axe murderer.
Spoiler Alert: He wasn't.
We asked him for directions and he gallantly offered to drive us to the other entrance of the park near our car.
So, we all piled into the cab of his pick-up truck. I was nervous about the lack of car seats, but then walking another 4 miles to the van along narrow country roads didn't seem like too much fun either. So, we risked it and hitchhiked a ride from a good Samaritan. Thank you to the guy in the red pickup truck from N A Insulation. If I ever need anything insulated, THAT is who I'm going to call.
Although come to think of it, I probably need to impress on my kids a bit more strongly, why it's generally a bad idea to take rides from strangers.
We were wet and tired and hungry...but we made it back to van. Before it got dark even...I think it was about 7:30 by that point.
So, we didn't have to spend the night in the woods after all and I didn't have to strangle my husband (because if we had spent the night in the woods, there would have been some major strangling going on).
All is well that ends well.
Now...the question is...do we want to do it again next weekend?