Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting Fresh Air...and Getting Lost!

Ahhh...back when the path was well-defined.
In an attempt to cure boredom, the boyfriend-guy and I decided to go for a hike on Saturday! We went to Morton arboretum in the suburbs, which has a total of about 9 miles of trail. In the morning we bought some key trail mix ingredients (ie: peanuts, M&Ms, and Craisins), mixed it all together, and headed out on our way. We drove by a couple of garage sales before getting to the park, all of which were pretty disappointing. We're both moving into new places this year, so we have lots of things we need for our apartments, but most of the stuff at these sales was for little kids. (Items which we DO NOT NEED.) We got to the park around 11:30, ate some of our trail mix and watched families run around, then we took the nice little path around the children's part of the park before trekking out on our own.

We got lost.

Of the 9 miles of trail in the arboretum, I'd say we hiked about 11 of them. This being due to the fact that I, completely useless at reading maps, handed it to the boyfriend-guy, who apparently is also completely useless at reading maps. To his credit, eventually he did get us to a place where he could look at the map and say "See? We're right at this part!", but it took a lot of back tracking to get there. Part of the problem is simply because the parks have a not-so-great signage system. There are signs pointing in the right direction, but it would be helpful if there wasn't both a "visitor center" AND a "visitor station". We parked at the visitor center. After about an hour our mosquito repellent was wearing off (but it was heavy so I didn't want to carry it in my backpack) so we decided to walk back to the car and get some more before heading out again on a different trail. Well, as luck would have it, we ended up walking to the visitor station. Which is...of course...the other side of the park. So we back-tracked there, and a few other times, before finally getting back to the visitor center. We bought some sno-cones and collapsed on a bench. Boyfriend-guy's neck seems to have taken the majority of mosquito attacks, which is lucky for me. Not so much for him. I'm still scratching my legs, back, face, and arms, but I think the outing was a success. We met working at a summer camp, so as much as both of us squeal at the sight of bugs, we're pretty excited when we get to be outside for prolonged periods of time. (Except there was this one part with a really gross marshy pile of mud swarming with bugs that we had to cross twice due to back-tracking. That part was not so nice.)

The arboretum itself is a nice setup. It's kind of expensive, $11/adult to get in, with free parking. I just made it $5/person in my head and $12/parking and it made me feel a little better, but it was still pretty pricey. I mean, we brought our own food (minus the sno-cones), and all we were doing was walking around outside. We pretty much found ways to entertain ourselves. On Wednesdays they have discounted admission, so if you want an afternoon of fun or something then it's only about $7/adult I think. Overall, it was a great outing!

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