My (almost) 6 mile hike

I was all excited a few weeks ago when a 6 Mile Hike with a park ranger showed up on my Facebook news feed. Unfortunately, it was in just a few days, on a Sunday morning, and littlest Grandson and I had a church date. I sent my regrets, but noted I would be interested in future hikes, and one was scheduled for this morning. As in early. As in 8 a.m.

But, hey. A hike around the local lake, and an expert most likely willing to talk about flora and fauna and who knows what? I signed up. My daughter did, too, but we’ve both been sick lately. She opted to rest instead.

Despite my diet, I stopped by for a Bojangles biscuit (a 6-mile hike requires fortification), showed up early, and drove through the park to the visitor’s station. I marked time until just before 8, when I decided I’d better see if the lead hiker was waiting around. He wasn’t, and wouldn’t be for a while. I mentally tossed a coin. If I waited, chances were even that he’d decide to cancel anyway, considering I was the only eager hiker there. (Heck, apparently even he wasn’t excited about the prospect today.) I bailed, and on the way home decided to hike on my own. Six miles is a lot of walking for me, so I looked at this like a practice run.

There are a lot of joggers out at 8:30 in the morning. And dogs. A variety of birds, too. My phone camera can’t capture birds well, but I did see beautiful flowers.

This colorful spot calls attention to one of today’s hidden forms of slavery.

Wildflowers were abundant, too. I saw some daisies, and the magnolia trees and the honeysuckle are in bloom.

field of daisies
He loves me, he loves me not. These wild daisies might be too tiny to tell.

I walk a lot at Joyner Park. It’s close to home, and right now, it’s pretty much still in its natural state. That will change, when they add the ballparks and the playground.

There are several trails that loop around the 117-acre property, but the outer one, called the Farm Loop, is 2.2 miles long. I opted for that one. It’s part sunny, part shadow this time of day, and if I made it around twice, I’d probably call it a day.

Birds are abundant in this picturesque park, but I always keep a lookout for critters, too.

turtle turtling (2)
Found this guy near the end of my walk. By this point, I felt like digging a hole to get out of the heat, too.

I made it twice, logging 4.4 miles, with only a few-minutes long break to rest. I might have gone for another round, but 6 miles is a long way to go without anyone to commiserate with about the heat and humidity, and to ask why did I work out so hard at the gym last night when I knew I was hiking this morning.

If the next hike is a go, I’ve got two weeks to prepare. Then I’ll find out if I can hack a 6-mile trek. At least my chicken biscuit wasn’t wasted.

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