Birthday Walk

In August, K2 and I went for a special walk at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary and White Alloe Creek conservation area. It was his third birthday! and our first father-son walk in the woods.

The weather was a fantastic 78F with bluebird skies. We walked the Old Kate trail counterclockwise. K2's favorite activities included throwing stuff in the creek, stomping across the several foot bridges, and looking at stuff with his magnifying glass. 

I was hoping to get a glimpse of the old woodchuck that lives near the old Park College root cellar, or maybe a good box turtle, but no dice. We did see two juvie whitetails, lots of dragonflies, and got to finger cattails and rough horsetails, and prairie grasses growing at least eight feet tall. We also ran into my friend Josh and his girlfriend, picnicking at the spillway (waterfall).

I'm loath to post pictures of my kids on the internet, but here are two pics that I can share.

On the trail. In his LittleLife packpack he carried his magnifying glass, our jar of Nutella, and a bottle of water.

Looking at the world as through a glass dimly (or as through a fun house stretchy mirror!)


Onondoga Cave State Park

Another little skip off the highway. Deer Run Trail, 2.25 miles. For sure, I'll be coming back with the family for the cave tours.

It was after returning from this hike that I learned about Jon Franklin, the missing canoeist. We're praying for his safe recovery. It's another sober reminder that preparedness has its end, not in that you are prepared to survive, but that you are prepared to die.

Lord, make me ready to die.


OHT - Dockery Gap

Back in April I had opportunity to take a quick walk on the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT), starting at the Old Locke Road/Dockery Gap Trailhead, walking down to Hurricane Creek (no, not THAT Hurricane Creek), up the other side of the hollow, before I turned around and back whence I came.

I suppose this would be the "second" segment of the OHT, starting from Lake Ft Smith walking east. For an out of shape lug, it was plenty challenging.

What can I say? Classic OHT: calf burning descents, quad burning ascents, with a refreshing stream in between. Wild flowers, dense woods, lots of poison ivy, and succulent solitude.

This would make a fine, short daytrip for families, if your crew is hearty enough for some steep sections of trail. Walking sticks strongly recommended! Picnick next to a babbling Ozark creek, bring a book, and enjoy the hills.