Hike 2012, the Results
Night hike, version 3 results are in, and it was just about what we thought it would be, but with a strange twist this year. Eight of us participated including my youngest son Jacob. We took off from T.H. around 5:15, picked up Ethan in Bloomington and decided to have dinner at Opie Taylor’s. Nothing like some major meat and potatoes before long hike, this was the place for that. By the time we left the restaurant the freezing rain was making havoc of the streets. We found this out first hand when the suburban we were traveling started sliding going down a hill outside Bloomington and toward Nashville. By the time we slowed down at the bottom of the hill at least 6 cars had just slide off that section of road and in dire need of a tow truck.
Made it nice and slow down to the gravel road where we turn off to park. On with the boots, extra warm stuff, backpacks, lights and the like as we headed up the hill for the real adventure to begin. Wasn’t really that bad hiking up the steep hill considering the freezing rain/ice. Easier than hiking it in the snow like the last two years. All was going to plan till we made it to the large grove of pines where we have to make our own trail down to the cabin. At some point in this part of the journey we realized the GPS Doug was using to guide us was locked up due to the moisture. By the time that became clear we got completely lost. Now in the daytime you can just follow the top of the ridge and sort of figure it out, but in the pitch black and freezing rain, not so much. After proceeding in the general direction with little success we came on a creek going down the hill we decided to follow. Well, 30 minutes of following the creek, getting even more wet we were thinking we could be at this all night and not know where we are. About that time I slipped and started to fall face first into the creek, but thankfully caught myself before being totally submersed in the icy drink. Not before letting out an expletive for all to hear. Hey, I’m very human.
Not 10 minutes later we came on a nice cleared trail and 10 minutes after that walked right to the back of the cabin. How that happened, I still don’t have a clue. Lesson learned: little trials like this when considered from a big perspective does good things for the soul. Have a plan, stick together, keep your head and we will all be stronger for the experience. See James 1: 2-4
With lots of coffee, candy bars and a hot wood stove we dried out, but were way wired up so getting to bed for the night took hours. Nevertheless we got up at 8 A.M. the next morning, and thanks to Ron had a great breakfast feast. A bit later we went out for a nice day hike. About noon we hiked out (following the ridge) and made it home around 4 PM. All in all a good experience with friends and one tradition I plan to continue.
So come January of next year on the coldest, and harshest day that winter can throw at us, we will be finding our way around the forest at night, seeking yet another adventure.