The Amazing Adventures of Josie and Seb

July 13, 2010

Raccoon? No. Creek? Yes!

Filed under: adventuring, pittsburghing — Cate @ 11:36 pm

On Sunday, Joe and Seb and I took off for Raccoon Creek State Park. Poor Josie never gets to go; Seb wasn’t even supposed to come, but he charged out the door and gave Joe such a pitiful look that we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave him behind. It was good weather for being out in nature – warmer than Saturday but not as hot as it has been.

Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about the outing. Joe has legs for miles and I have legs like…something with really short legs…not to mention I prefer to stroll at a leisurely pace over walking at a normal speed. Joe and Seb have a lot more hustle in them than me. Would they leave me behind to be eaten by raccoons? How long till I was at the point of exhaustion just from trying to keep up?

Turns out, I needn’t have worried. Joe let me set the pace for most of the hike and I got my second wind  on the second half of the Forest Trail (more like my first wind, since I griped and huffed through most of the first part). The Forest Trail was really lovely, up and down through the woods. We passed through a big fern meadow and climbed over fallen trees and tromped through the mud.

Seb had an episode along the trail, early in the hike. It was a muddy spot in the trail where they’re laid wooden planks for hikers to pass over. There was six to eight inches between the plank and the muddy ground and Seb kept losing his balance and falling off the plank or turning around to look at me and walking sideways right off the edge. Of course once he hit the ground he’d get sucked into the mud and would flail around for a bit before getting his footing. He must have done it about five times. I was doubled over when Joe caught up to us. He said, “what’s wrong? Is Seb hurt?” – mistaking my hysteria for panic. For the rest of the trip whenever I thought about Seb and those silly planks I would laugh so hard I had to stop walking.

Poor Seb. Such indignity.

After the Forest Trail, we headed to the Wetlands Trail. It started out nice enough – shady and cool, crossing over a bubbling little creek at one point. We took a break at the creek so Seb could stretch out full-length in the water and cool down a bit.

It also gave us an opportunity for some cell phone portraits, since I didn’t bring the camera along. I really am having a fun time, I’m just being eaten alive by bugs.

The Wetlands Trail turned out to be kind of horrible. It left the shady woods and snaked through dense tall grasses, with a muddy pond on one side and razor-sharp hell plants on the other. The bugs were making me crazy and my arms were bloody from all the prickers and I just wanted to get out of there ASAP. Joe said later he’d never seen me walk so fast. I was miserable and I was truckin’.

After that, it was a slow easy stroll back to the car on a mostly shaded road. We were all tired and sweaty and bug-bitten and bloody but in very good spirits. What a great way to spend a few hours.

When we got home, Joe wanted to sit down and chill out but I had worked myself into a paranoid frenzy over the prospects of all of us being covered in poison ivy (not very far-fetched, given where we were walking). I immediately got in the shower and made Joe give Seb a bath before I would let him into the house and then I made Joe scrub himself down. He was maybe a little annoyed with me, but I wasn’t about to risk it. Two days later and I have bug bites and scratches galore, but so far no sign of an ivy rash so I’m happy with my decision.

We’re hoping to make a regular thing of these little outings, now that the weather is (mostly) nice and we have the means to travel. Where will the winds take us next? Who knows…somewhere cool, I hope. And no more freaking wetlands!

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