It was well after high-noon before we got on the road, heading south, with hot and sticky weather. Who would have thought we'd have such uncomfortable temps and humidity on the first day of September in the Midwest? It's definitely not a trademark for this region.
We were awaiting storms to hit the area, blowing in from the latest hurricane. The sky was overcast and the air felt thick enough to swim in it. It was not the best conditions for hiking but we were determined to go anyway.
This Squatching destination was in the great, wild commonwealth of Kentucky, in what used to be called Wolf Hills. It's embanked by the broad Ohio River, directly across from The Point, on the Indiana side.
I had wanted to do a hike in this park for a good while, so I prodded my husband into this little scouting trip, to see if we might get lucky in finding some Squatch-signs.
I’d packed enough sandwiches and drinks for later that evening, but hadn’t put in enough for lunch. When our Squatch outing was finished, we’d planned to watch the storm arrive from the banks of the Wabash River, around night-fall.
We don’t eat out often, but since we’d been through a busy-busy morning, and it’d been several hours since breakfast, we stopped by trusty ol’ Subway. You just can’t go wrong with them!
You've guessed it. The selected snoop site was Audubon State Park, Henderson, Kentucky.
Our first stop was the park office. We got a map and spent a little time chatting with the park personnel. The discussion became comical, especially when I asked if they’d ever had any Sasquatch sightings in the area. Immediately, they were full of questions … and giggles.
"Are you a paranormal investigator?"
"Have you ever seen one?"
"Have you ever seen footprints?"
"Do you have any plaster casts of them?"
It was a familiar and amusing set of questions.
They were sincerely curious, but still found the idea of hunting for Sasquatch evidence funny. Intriguing, but funny. They were nice folks though, and we enjoyed getting acquainted with them. They were polite and very thorough in the information they gave us about the park.
During the conversation, one of them referred to me as something I've never been referred to before. She said, "You're as cute as a button!" I've been described in many ways, but this was a first for that one. I believe she thought my facial expressions reflected everything that was coming out of my mouth, while we talked. It was great. :)
We took our pre-hike lunch to the boat dock. It's shaded there, and a good breeze was picking up. The sun had been peeking out periodically, and when it did, it heated the thick air up fast.
Greg and I split a Subway sandwich and sipped some Tang, while I studied the map, to see which trails would work best, considering what we were hunting for. Per the map, the trails were all short, and there were no skill levels marked for any of them, so they should be easily hiked by nearly everyone.
When we finished eating, we decided the best place to start would be the opposite side of the lake. We needed to cut through an area that has cabins available for rent. A sign posted said that only renters were permitted to use the lane leading into the area, but it was a long way out of our way to go around it, so, we pretended to be campers and kept on walking.
The cabins looked nice and cozy, and most were occupied. It's a beautiful area, and I'd recommend it for a weekend getaway to anyone who enjoys spending time in the woods, with a few modern conveniences.
We enjoyed the scenery, and thankfully made it past the cabins without being stopped for questioning, fined, or arrested.
At the museum (at least, I think it's a museum) cars were filling the parking lot with decked out and dressed up folks, arriving for a wedding.
We weren't dressed for a wedding, so we disappeared into the forest, on a new trail.
A little way along the path, it tipped into a steep descent, with the trail becoming very narrow and overgrown.
By the time we were half-way down, it was looking more like a pig-trail than a park foot-path. At the bottom, the path cleared a bit, and we found a cute little bridge to cross.
Just past the bridge, the path rose again, in a steep vertical climb. It wasn't long before our progress was reduced to a crawl, and we were pretty much sitting and scooting our way up the incline. It went on and on, and we had to stop a lot to rest, but finally we made it to the top, where we sat a while, catching our breath and enjoyed a wonderfully cool breeze coming through the trees, giving us a bit of added relief.
I'd been checking the map frequently, but what I didn't realize was that I was reading our position wrong. We had taken the wrong trail, and had gone in the opposite direction of what we'd needed to go, and the long climb had nearly wiped us out.
Rather than continuing forward along the trail-loop, we turned around. At least we knew what we were facing, going back the way we came. We didn't see many tracks, animal or people, but we did see various types of scat. Owl pellets were all over the place.
The steep incline had taken a toll on my feet and knees. I'd not been able to find my hiking boots before we left that morning, so I'd worn sneakers instead. They didn't work nearly as well, and by the time we made it back to the trail head, my toes were reallllly sore. I don't plan to ever wear sneakers again on a hike, but I still haven't found my hiking boots. Gremlins, maybe?
When we came off the trail head, we found the parking lot congested and a forest ranger directing traffic. The wedding vows had been taken, so it was dinner and dancing time. We moved out as well, and headed to another parking area, near the trail head we should have used to begin with.
Greg and I took a break with some Tang, and rested in the shade while we planned out the next leg of the hike. As we sat there, this lot started filling up too. Apparently, it was a transitional spot where the wedding attendees were were parking for the reception. A cute little red Porsche pulled in and parked nose-to-nose with us, as we were getting out of the Expedition.
A woman got out of the car, wearing a bare-shouldered evening dress, that matched the
red of the car, almost exactly. The gentleman with her was tux'd out, and remained in the car, watching and smiling at me, while I put my pack on.
After my gear was situated, I walked past the lady and grinned at her, saying, "Think we should crash the party?" She laughed and said, "Go for it!" I told her we'd better not because we just weren't in the mood to be arrested. It was way too hot for handcuffs.
Greg and I ventured into the tree canopy and found (to our relief and delight, because of weary legs) the trail was wide and paved. Sadly, our delight was short lived. We were only a short way in when the trail pitched into a vertical incline again. We'd not even come close to making it to the top of the rise before our legs started feeling weak.
If you knew our medical history, you'd understand why this sort of stuff really is a physical challenge for us. But, we push ourselves to stay active and do as much as we
can to keep improving our endurance levels.
I literally cried out, "Praise the Lord!" when I spied a bench on the trail-side, only a little way from us.
We parked ourselves on the bench for a breather, and as we sat there, an old man blew past us, waving as he sailed by with no effort at all. Greg and I gave each other a totally deflated look, and in a teasing fashion (cross my heart), I even stuck, my tongue out at the vibrant old fellow whom, without knowing us, was schooling us on how it's done. He'd definitely shown us up. I couldn't help but smile after him, and told my husband, the guy was probably an old Marine.
Once we'd caught our breath and our legs felt a bit rested, Greg and I made our way onto a shorter path, branching off of the one we started on. For the rest of our hike, we struggled, laughed, nearly cried, and definitely complained of tired bodies and aching body-parts.
Okay, I'll admit that it was mostly me that was complaining. Greg pretty much kept it at grinning and bearing, and frequently leaning on his hiking staff.
We didn't see any of the sort of prints we were hoping to find there, but that forest is stunning, and we'll be back. It was my first time to visit there since I was a child, and hiked a few of the trails with my Dad. He would be happy to know that in many of it's less-travelled places, the park is still wild and beautiful.
When the hike was finished, on our way back to the parking area, we hoped we weren't pinned in. We would have really hated to drive over that cute little Porsche to get out of the lot. (Wink!)
Thankfully, we saw we had a clear exit when we arrived back in the lot, and apparently, some of the wedding goers had enjoyed a bit too much of the reception libations. A drunken-argument was being slurred about in the parking lot, but when the drunks saw us approaching, they quickly piped down.
Maybe my appearance was frightening, after a long, demanding and sweaty trek through the woods, or maybe the look in my eyes came across as a bit crazy, when it was really only fatigue and a bit of dehydration.
Thank you for joining us for another adventure in Squatching! If you've got any info or ideas on the subject you'd like to share, please hit me up via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave me a note here in a comment.
If you would like more information on Audubon State Park, near Henderson, Kentucky, click the embedded link to visit the park's website.
God bless and be safe and thank you so much for the read!
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