Sleepy update

I've been meaning to write many entries here, but between hiking, work, and my Grandfather's passing this week, it always manages to slip away. Here's an idea of what's going on:

-Hiked about 15.5 miles at Castlewood
-Hiked 5.3 miles at Lewis & Clark with my Dad.
-Hiked about 18-20 miles at Green Rock Trail and others

Today I hiked 24-27 miles ( depending if you're going by the trail sign or someone's GPS) at Berryman trail body is full of aches. Bedtime, updates later.

14 1/2 miles -- my personal best!

This past weekend I hiked more than I ever had in one day... 14 1/2 miles! While this is still a far cry from the the 30 miles in one day I'll be expected to pound out in October, I still feel this to be a huge accomplishment on the personal level! I was hurting a bit by the end, but we had been keeping up a pretty intense pace the entire time (it was getting to be late afternoon and I was afraid of getting caught in the dark without a head lamp!). Now granted, only 11 miles of that was on a hiking trail, the other 3.7 were at Creve Coeur Lake, but I still count it all!

The day started out at the CureSearch for Children's Cancer Walk, which took place at Creve Coeur Lake. We joined people who had been fundraising for the walk, met some real heroes, and remembered the children lost to pediatric cancer. We then walked the 3.7 mile trail around the lake and took a break for bananas and Gus' Pretzels.

My painted tattoo, ready to hike the day away.

Some of the Ultimate Hike team.

Families, cancer survivors, friends, and supporters all walking for the cure.

A beautiful shaded section of the Creve Coeur Lake trail.

This section always makes me think of one of those "when the people are gone" scenes.

After the walk, a few of the group headed over to Lost Valley Trail between the Weldon Springs/Defiance area. The trail is only marked at about 10 miles, but two of the people on the hike had a GPS that marked it as 11. This is a beautiful hike. There are lots of bikes, but they aren't a huge problem.  The one main issues I had with this trail was that the sound of gunshots pervaded the hike for the entire first six miles of the hike. Six miles of echoing shots through the hills. Not only are we nearby a police training facility, but also a shooting range... and it was really distracting. Also there is a LOT of gravel and rocky areas that were really rough on my feet.

I love the trees lining the path here (plus the wideness helps with bikes)

I was so grateful for a dirt path after tons of gravel and rocks!
I've done Lost Valley before (and took much better pictures) in April 2010, February 2012, and July 2012. I don't think I've ever done one trail three times in one year! Not to mention one that is as long as this trail. In the 2010 entry, I mention the trail as being only 9 miles... it has either been rerouted since then or the information in the book was wrong -- I don't remember it being as well marked as it is now. Either way, despite the sounds from the shooting ranges and the harsh gravel, it is a lovely hike.

I have raised $835 in my CureSearch fundraising. Consider donating and helping me towards my goal of $2,500 at my donation page!

Pickle Springs and lots of wine...


     This weekend I was supposed to help celebrate my friend Molly's birthday with an overnight float trip/camping trip, but storms due to leftover hurricane Issac hitting us in the Midwest killed those plans pretty quickly (not to mention a previous fireban because of the drought made a campfire a no-no).  But we still managed to have a pretty good time. We went down to Pickle Springs for a quick 2-mile hike despite the rain that went between drizzle, a light downpour, and non-existant, and the very sticky humidity. This all made the trail feel a bit longer than it actually was, but didn't hinder the beauty of Pickle Springs, always one of my favorites despite not being very close or long. It was especially alive in the rain, with all the springs rushing and full of water and the leaves dripping and turtles crawling over logs at every turn. Absolutely gorgeous, as usual.

    The rest of the day was spent at the Cave Winery in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Which is, as it sounds, a place to drink lots of wine in a cave. You buy the wine at the top of a hill, along with biscotti from their biscotti bar (oh yes, this is a fact. The goat cheese and herb one is delicious), fresh baked bread, cheese, and grapes. You are also allowed to bring your own picnic basket of food, so we had quite an amazing spread to share amongst the group! I got the   Then you walk or get a ride down the hill to Saltpeter Cave, where there are picnic benches galore, live music, and cool air.  I got a pitcher of Sangria instead of wine, and it was fruity and delicious. Definitely worthwhile way to spend a long summer afternoon... even if we didn't get to camp or hike as much as we wanted.

Also, been reading The Cactus Eaters by Dan White.