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!

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