Thursday, June 12, 2014

North Country: Rivers and heat

Jun 12 2013

Unlike the first time I was here on another trip, no rain at the Tall Grass National Preserve today, just heat, though I did get there early enough to get in some hiking along the Fox River before the heat started getting bad in the mid afternoon. Of course, having apparently left common sense in the van back at park headquarters, I was still out there hiking along the Fox River past mid afternoon!

I say hiking, but today was more ambling and sitting and ambling and sitting and. . .well, you get the idea. I didn't really have anywhere to go and wasn't much motivated to be anywhere else, so why not just here? I spent a lot of time sitting and watching the water go by, the fish feed, the snakes swim past,

then wandering up into the surrounding hills for a bit

before retreating back to the water to watch the insects flit around, fallen trees rot, and that sort of thing.

Good thing I had on my light colored hiking pants and used plenty of bug juice though! A couple of times I looked down to see ticks trying to get a hold of my pants legs only to fall right off.

While I was hiking ambling I caught glimpses of the old ranch house (Which I toured thoroughly when here last trip.) far across the other side of the valley (Brought closer here by the magic of zoom.) and the front porch looked really inviting, but after I finished up my hike and climbed the hill for my anticipated porch-sit, I discovered it was really hot up there and the breeze wasn’t reaching around the corner of the house, so I didn’t stay all that long.

 After my aborted porch-sit I drove on a few more miles to Emporia KS to a campground I’ve stayed at a few times before. Not a great place but adequate and conveniently located. Before perching for the night though I went hunting for a grocery store and that turned out to require more exploring than I anticipated. I finally found a tiny one on the south side of town after driving almost every road. Turns out the one road I didn’t drive is the one where the big stores are. That figures. . .

Hot again this evening! Even thought the sun is low it's still just barely less than 100 degrees and once I parked at the campground the best my AC could do was 92. This is the same thing that would happen when I was parked at work for the week and was one reason I tended to stay at my desk until late. Not much to be done about it here though since I don’t have a desk in an air-conditioned office building anymore. That’s right I’M RETIRED!!

So far, despite two pretty decent hikes, nothing about this trip is doing much to change my mind about the inadvisability of summer travel. . .

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