Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sunday's Grand Adventure

I meant to post this earlier this week. Actually, I tried to get online Sunday evening, but my ISP refused to cooperate and I was too busy Monday to write something up during the day. And well...then it was Teaser Tuesday (NOT that many of my peeps visited me this week, sniff) and so here we are. Wednesday. Hey, at least I'm finally getting to it!

We had beautiful weather here this weekend. Whereas last weekend was gloomy, wet and windy, this one was sunny, warm and only slightly breezy. After a week cooped up inside, I was ready to escape my cold apartment (YOU try living with no heat when the temp keeps swinging between 35 and 60!). Saturday I ran errands that were close enough together that I could walk between most locations. I intentionally set up my day that way so I could not only get out, but enjoy the weather as well. As for Sunday? I think I got a little over-ambitious there. The faint of heart should probably stop reading now — if you haven't already done so out of sheer jealousy over the weather.

So, I felt like getting out and actually doing something. I refused to spend the entire day cooped up in my apartment so, I decided to do some walking. A lot of walking. I was up and out of my chilly apartment by 9:30am. I started with a two mile walk to the zoo. Yes, I said two miles — to the zoo. (I did warn you, didn't I?) And then I wandered around for an hour, hour and a half, just enjoying the day. A lot of people there, but it wasn't over-crowded the way it can get mid-summer. That was at least another mile of walking, not to mention a lot of standing, if not more. Leaving Vilas, I decided to walk through the Arboretum rather than go back the way I came, figuring it wouldn't prolong my walk home all that much.


The main road through the Arboretum meanders between marsh, woods, prairie and lake for about two miles from where I entered to the Visitor Center. The first mile was fairly easy, a somewhat level grade and mostly shaded. As you can imagine, there was a lot of traffic on such a perfect spring day — walkers, joggers and bicyclists predominated, but there were also a lot of cars. Turns out they were running free trolley tours from the Visitor Center that afternoon. Thankfully, there is enough of a shoulder for walkers to avoid oncoming traffic, and most people were respectful of others, whether they were on foot or bicycle.

The last mile was more of a workout, owing to a couple of inclines those damn glaciers decided to throw into the terrain. My calves were really feeling those, and I cannot tell you how happy I was when I topped the last and found myself alongside the Longenecker Gardens (blooming crab apples and lilacs galore!) and then the Visitor Center. Of course, I'd have been a lot happier were there a direct route from the Visitor Center straight across the prairie home, about a quarter mile in distance. But no. You see, on the other side of the narrow strip of pine woods bordering the southern edge of that a major highway. With no way across from where I stood to where I wanted to go. Nope, you have to go around. Which I knew I would have to do when I entered the Arboretum but thought, "eh, no problem. What's one more mile?"


Easy to say at the beginning of the trail. It also wouldn't have been so bad had I not already walked three or four miles before entering the Arboretum. So, I passed the Visitor Center with a groan, and kept plodding along. And was rewarded with my first glimpse of actual wildlife. Well, wildlife that was actually alive. All along the path I had listened to a multitude of bird calls, including a few wood ducks and a goose, but other than a couple red-wing black birds, I saw nothing. Nada. Rien. I suppose I might have, had I ventured down one of the many foot paths branching off the main road, but — as we've already established — I'd already done enough extra walking for one day, and did not want to add hours to my adventure. I could return to explore those another day, preferably with company.

Anyway, as I skirted the northern edge near where prairie gives way to a small stretch of woods, I heard a rustling in the underbrush and looked over to see three wild turkeys sauntering by. Unfortunately, I had just pocketed the camera and they were moving away from me at too fast a pace to get any pictures. Still really cool though — and made the last leg of my journey a bit more bearable.

At least until I exited onto the road at the opposite end of the Arboretum — and was quite rudely reminded of the very STEEP and curvy hill I had to climb before crossing the highway and doubling back on that last mile home. Yeah, you can imagine the word that came to mind as I faced it. "Oh, f---!" My calves felt every step of that hill, my feet cursing every inch of it. To say I was tired when I finally entering the home stretch would be an understatement. At least from that point I knew every landmark and exactly how many blocks I had left. It was almost tempting to remove shoes and socks and walk the last two blocks barefoot.

Home never looked so good, even if it was a chilly and noisy apartment building. And I tell you, a hot bath never felt so good. I soaked a good half hour with a book, then sprawled across the bed until dinner was ready. I was tired and feeling a bit of a headache from too much sun, but could not manage a nap — which would have been most welcome at that point. Don't you just hate that? Still, despite every muscle protesting the exercise, it did feel good to get out and move. Plus I have a ton of pictures to share.


Jana said...


Girl, are your feet even still actually attached to your body? Mine would have rebelled so hard they'd have run away from home! LOL

Glad you had such a gorgeous day, though. And that you SURVIVED IT!! :-D

Heather said...

Yes, my feet are still attached, lol. Actually, though they did hurt a bit when I got home Sunday afternoon, they felt fine Monday. Seriously. Not even a single blister. *g*

Alice Audrey said...

Sorry I didn't swing by while you were gone. I'll try to be better.

You still have no heat?! I thought you got the landlord to fix that.

Heather said...

Alice: Nope, no heat. Apparently they have decided that, since it is so late in the year and temps are 60-70 most days (never mind nights are still 30s and 40s and we still have occasional frost warnings), NOT to fix it until fall. Cheap skates! I had to turn my oven on again this morning to burn off the chill and you KNOW it's going to be cold in there when I get home tonight.