Friday, March 5, 2010

cont. the hike to hell.......

We walked down to the beach and I felt like I was in Apocalypse Now.  We retreated back to the pavement and keep hiking until we found Campbell Lake.  By this time we were loosing our minds as we looked to the left and swore we saw the 23 second ground hogs from You Tube fame;

but just sand plants......... 

We got the map out again and returned to our starting point to try this one more time.  Off on another trail not knowing if we were headed in the right direction.  We encountered three hikers, yes real hikers.  Two women and a guy who was just staggering behind in a fly fishing hat (probably looking for the ocean, DUDE, I KNOW WHERE IT IS!).  HEY, I bet they are from one of those land yachts.....  We smiled and Butch swaggered past like he knew where he was going.  I couldn't help myself and turned around smiling, asked;  Is Campbell Lake up the trail?  The woman, bless her, whipped her map out and said;  This map is stupid and makes no sense.
I dropped to my knees and kissed her feet!  Thank Gawd it's not us, it really is the map.  All 5 of us were in the same state of mind; exasperated!  They said; Yes keep walking, you'll run into it.  So we did.

We walked through; Caution Tape Forest.
we have no idea why all these trees are tagged with yellow caution tape but nice touch.

That lead us to; Burned Out Forest.

and onto the;  Dr Seuss forest.

we walked on the paved trail until my ankles, knees and hips were feeling the pounding.
And just when I was ready to throw in the towel and curse the State of Florida........

there it was,  Campbell Lake.  WOW!  

The only thing separating fresh water Campbell Lake from the ocean is a thin strip of dunes.  
I had a moment and realized I was alone, my hiking partner was no where in sight.  I could hear him talking loudly but couldn't figure out to whom.  I retraced my steps and followed the loud talking back to the pavement.  There he was; pacing in a circle, starring down at the ground and giving directions in Greek.  Hmmmm...... I heard things like;  push the third button down from the orange key three times while pulling the silver handle back and is the dog with you.  
I mouth.........  Is the dog OK?  He waves me off and I hear him say;  put the dog in the house and call me back.  All winter Butch had asked Abby;  Wanna learn to run the snowblower?  
and the answer;  NO!   Tuesday night before we left;  Hey why don't I just show you how to start the snowblower........  NO!  You're only gone 4 days I think I can handle it.  Okey Dokey.  
On the third day Mother Nature dumped a load of snow on northeastern Ohio.  Enough to cancel schools, work and jobs.

Abby left home with a car, a dog and no place to go decided she should run the snow blower.  I suggested a shovel, the one by the back door.  The one the dog was probably watering every morning when she let him out and the ungodly hour of noon.  

I departed the pavement and left Dad and Daughter to work it out.  I returned to bird watching, gator watching and exploring a real trail.  I was a happy camper!  

Butch would run down and glance at the lake but then his phone went off.  It was a lovely hike.
The sun was on it's downward trek and I suggested we start back. 
On the way back we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves for finding Campbell Lake so we decided we could hike off trail to get back to the car.  There were several trails that seemed to be cut into the woods.  We looked at the map and jumped in.  The little voice in the back of my head said;  Do you really want to do this?   My inside voice was now yelling;  Stop yourself.  My outside voice said;
Sure let's try it!  
About 500 feet in I looked around and thought we are in a logging area.  I thought the parks were supposed to be protected areas.  We were both puzzled but what we were seeing.

We stumbled (I was past scurrying) and looped around so many times we found ourselves all the way back at Campbell Lake! 
We had such a hard time finding Campbell Lake now we couldn't get away from it. There was my inside voice again;  Retreat from whence you came greenhorn and go back to the pavement.  
We walked and walked and the sun was setting lower and lower.  Finally we found pavement all the way back at Campbell Lake.  I announced to my hiking partner & soon to be ex-husband if he left the trail I would kill him.  
We found our way back through neighborhoods, really we could not figure out what these were doing in a state park but there were street lights, barking dogs (one barked so hard it fell off the porch), kids on bikes and people grilling.  We came back to the road just about the time the moon was coming up.

We found the parking lot and our dirty little car.  I was so hungry this could have turned into the Donner Party.  The fat shack was closed and I could have eaten my own hand but we found a nice place to eat back on Rt 98.   During dinner he asked.......... are you going to blog about this?  
Ha! is there even a question about this one? 
We are alive!!!!!!!! 
Tomorrow we head west out of town.  

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