Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cheryl and Ethan's Solon Trail Trials! A Tale of Flooding, Swamp Leeches, Apple Turnovers, and Nuts of Unusual sizes!

Running the Lake Mcbride trail
Or maybe "swimming" the trail
We decided to try the Lake Mcbride Trail near Solon Iowa today.   We have done this before with "mixed" results.   The first time it was covered in snow and mud.   The second time was "perfect"!  And this time....well.   Let us begin from there.

Looks kind of "deep"
Ethan attempts the crossing
The humidity is still up a bit, and the rain had stopped sometime last night.   The clouds promised protection from the sun while not offering any signs of precipitation.  Looked like it would be a good day for a run through nature.

Ethan finds a "deep" spot.
Barely a 1/4 mile down the trail....we hit a rut.    The small creek next to part of the trail had crested its banks and started to cross over the trail.   Not a "huge" problem for me, because I have a bike...right?  NOT so fast!

Notice the rock on the side.
Notice the rock in the "deep" part.
The first time across,  I was able to navigate the waters while only getting most of my shoes wet.   Cheryl decided to take off her socks and shoes to cross,  figuring this would be as bad as it would get.  We were wrong!

On the return, I "found" a washed out hole in the middle of the water....with my front bike tire.   Imagine a bicyclist flying over the handle bars and "sliding into home plate".  Got it?   Now imagine a "chubby" cyclist flying over the handle bars sliding into home plate in the most ungracious way possible.

I dust myself off.  Cheryl puts on her shoes.   We continue.    Until...

The current looks stronger up ahead
And deeper!  With LEACHES!
The next area around the bend is also flooded!    I "cautiously" attempt to cross this one and notice a cute little black worm swimming in the water....wait!   Worms don't "swim!"  We were introduced to the local swamp leeches!  I believe Bill Murray can take it from here:

The Leeches were a deal breaker for Cheryl.   We attempted to run around the paved track, but discovered that the effects of yesterday's rain was still having an impact everywhere.   We packed up and headed to our next event.  Wilson's Orchard.

Cheryl is not amused!
Time for some Apple Cider!
We were forced to wait a bit since they opened at 10 AM.   But Cheryl quickly spent that time finding large acorns!  I'm not sure what type of Oak trees these were, but they all had different acorns to show off.    I tried to capture the differences between the 3-5 different types of trees. My tree identification is a little rusty since my  MSU days.  I'm guessing they were members of the Red Oak family...but that is just a guess.

VERY large acorns!

Compare the 5 species and sizes!
After finding about a dozen or more of them,  we headed into the apple store to buy apples, drink cider, and eat some fresh baked apple turnovers.   Nothing trumps freshness!  And these guys were still warm and flaky!   Yummo!

MMM! Warm and flaky Apple Turnover!
A little taste of .... Heaven!
So we were a little bummed that the event we had been planning on for a week ended up being kind of a dud.   But the Fall is just beginning and some of the apple species are not even out yet.   There is still time to get it right...if we are feeling adventurous again.  We shall see.

Wet feet, dirty clothes!
Time to "scrub up" Ethan
As for now,  I washed up and changed my clothes and hopefully the damage will remain superficial to elbows, knees and wrists.   Luckily, I was wearing my helmet...even thought I did NOT fall on my head.  ( Figures!   The only part of my body that was completely protected never was at risk to begin with.)

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