24 June 2012

and we're back...

As if prompts from friends over the past couple of weeks weren't enough to remind me that I haven't written in a while, I just spent 20 minutes attempting to figure out my password so that I could blog. There was fear in my heart as I typed every combination. Each time hoping that it wasn't the time I'd be locked out, forced to answer security questions that I probably should pay more attention to. But I did it. Even when Blogger told me I didn't have a blog. I finally figured it out.

Husby and I just returned from a little getaway. Initially, this was going to be our vacation time. We were going to rent a cabin in the Appalachians. It was supposed to be a relaxing 10 days away--reading, writing, hiking, spending time outdoors. We even booked a few nights at the first stop on our trip. But then I confessed on the way home from church the next day that I wasn't happy with our vacation plan. (First world problem, I know.)

The issue? I can totally spend an entire weekend inside, watching episode after episode of a TV series, reading, napping and playing games. I can even spend a little time outside when it's not in the heat of the day. But 10 days in nature? Probably not the best place for me.

To be completely honest, I love the idea of hiking. And here's my confession: I really wanted to do it after Husby and I watched all six seasons of LOST in just as many months. I love that Kate totally rocks it hiking on the Island (aka: Hawaii). But I don't like snakes, bugs, spiders or their webs, feeling like I'm going to fall of the side of a steep hill, or sounds of the forest that make me think an animal is coming after me. These things are all realities on the border of Tennessee and Alabama. At one stop, when we told someone where we'd hike, she said, "Oh, just watch out for snakes. They could really be out during this season."

(Guess what they don't have in Hawaii? Snakes. Kate didn't have to worry about a water mocassin or copper head on her path.)

The next day (when I came down with whatever cold Husby had), we set out for a couple of hikes. I even downloaded a trail app for my phone. As it turns out, I prefer urban hiking. I do not enjoy overgrown trails, possible wildlife, keeping watch for poison ivy (for Husby), or spider webs. After hiking through a couple of these trails, we resorted to following a paved trail. Or a road. Whatever. This was our destination:

It's a double decker bridge: the top was for trains and the bottom was for cars. I feel certain that I would have timed my trips so that I never crossed with a train. Can you imagine?!

After we passed the heat of the day in a bookstore, we headed to our second hike: Dismals Canyon. This is why we came to this area. I found it over on kevinandamanda.com.

Because the entire hike is only 1.5 miles, we knew that we wouldn't need an extraordinary amount of time to complete it. It was well worth the trip. Although it's not urban hiking, it's wonderful! You hike into a canyon where the temperature is noticeably cooler. There's no wildlife or poison ivy in the canyon. It was great! Except in the dark, scary parts.

We timed our hike so that we could do a night tour into the cavern. On the canyon walls live little "glowworms" called dismalites. They light up when it gets dark, attracting gnats and rogue mosquitos that travel into the canyon as a meal. The canyon walls look like a dark sky speckled with stars. It was such an incredible sight! Think firefiles, but a sustained light. Unfortunately, I am not a great photographer at night, so there are no pictures to share.

Since we only spent a portion of our vacation time away, we have another trip planned in late July. This time, we'll stroll the streets of Chicago. And maybe rent a bicycle. And visit some museums. And maybe even go to a park. Because I like nature. In an urban setting.

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