It was a cold morning with a dusting of snow on the ground when we gathered for this one. Seth hadn't mapigated yet, so he was to be our mapigator, which made Marshall the leader. Jeth was my second adult. We were on our way about 9:15 or so.
This was to be a local hike, a walk down memory lane. We planned to walk through Ellettsville and into Bloomington (at least, the edge thereof), then through Camp Wapehani (where I went to Scout camp back in the Jurassic) which is now Wapehani Mt. Bike Park, and finally to the County Fairgrounds, where we would be picked up by Marshall's mom.
It's amazing how many little things you notice when you're walking through familiar country that you've always driven through before. We were seeing our current stomping grounds through fresh eyes.
We walked through town to the park, then down Hartstraight Rd. to Woodyard Rd. We then had to cross Curry Pike, the first of the dangerous street/highway crossings of the day. Woodyard Rd. combines with Vernal Pike to cross Indiana 37. Vernal Pike then sneaks into Bloomington the back way, past a salvage yard. We were cold and tired and hungry as we turned off of Third St. at Landmark and made our way to Second St., where we ate lunch at a convenience mart adjoining the Co-op.
We reached the Co-op just short of 1:00 p.m. We had three miles or so to go. We went down Second St. (Bloomfield Rd.) to Weimer Rd., and turned south toward Wapehani. Just before we reached the camp entrance, we heard baah-ing. There were goats and a llama in somebody's yard.
We came into Wapehani and rested a bit on the foundation of the old warehouse, where once I was Camp Quartermaster. Then we hiked over the dam and up the hill, past the new cell tower that tops the ridge and down onto Tapp Rd. One mile to go, and it was the hardest. After we crossed Indiana 37 again, I called Marshall's mom and said we were 20-30 minutes out. She took off to meet us at the Fairgrounds.
Probably the most dangerous crossing was of Indiana 45 at Airport Rd., but by then, we were almost within sight of the Fairgrounds. We stumped past Karst Farm Park and finished the last little bit on the soft grass and path of their frisbee golf course. We were picked up at the first gate to the Fairgrounds just before 4:00. The day's work: ten miles or so in six hours and 45 minutes.
And the best part is, we're done. As soon as Seth and Marshall (and Jeffrey and Jordan) finish their hike reports, they qualify for the badge. Our next Court of Honor will be January 25.