Jeth and I were again the adults for the hike. Seth, who just started Hiking MB, got to be our leader. Jordan, one of the veterans, was mapigator. Bryan was on his last hike to finish the MB. Jeffrey was doing his second hike. Several others weren't able to come; so this was the crew for today.
We drove over to Cooper Park on the south edge of Spencer. From there, Deanne (collinsmom) and Dean drove down to Freedom to park Jeth's van at the UM Church. They then returned to town. We schlepped ourselves over the bridge and started up the hill to Pottersville Rd.
This is country that the Hilly Hundred bike riders go over every October. It has a lot of ups and downs. Other times, however, we walked along the edge of the White River bottoms. It's Karst topography, too, so there were sinkholes in many places. The road was all asphalt, though, and that'll beat up your feet pretty good; by the time we were six miles or so into the hike, my left heel felt like it had a major stone bruise on it.
Seth had griped that we were too slow on our last hike. Well, he got his wish to set the pace this time. It was a smaller crew, of stronger hikers, on a fast road. I figured we'd eat up the miles pretty fast. And we did, finishing in 4 hours 36 minutes for a scant ten miles. It should be noted, though, that we had to start reminding Seth to pick up the pace toward the end. He was learning (I hope) that setting a pace isn't just about keeping the slowpokes with you, but also about not burning yourself out.
We'd gone a mile and a half or so when we came to a miniature horse farm. The pretty ponies came up to be petted. We passed the Curry Farm, where my best friend from old school days grew up. We saw interesting buildings, well-tended farms, and a nice variety of dessicated roadkill. About halfway through the hike, we picked up a friendly black dog that went about a mile and a half with us before trotting off to investigate somebody's yard.
As we came down off the ridge into the bottoms for the last time, we could see the little town of Freedom off in the distance. The church where the recovery vehicle was parked was visible through the trees. The boys were amazed at how fast the day had gone. We were dropping packs and settling in for the ride home by 1:30 p.m.
Pix are below. Click on any pic to enlarge.