The day after Thanksgiving, I completed goal #4 from my Fall 12 by going on a hike with my dad. Since he’s been involved with the Boyscouts since before I was born, I let him choose where he’d like to hike. He picked Cypress Creek Preserve, a park in Pasco County Florida that has a paved trail for hikers, bikes and horses, and several unpaved trails through the woods.
We started out on the paved trail for a good while, then went off-road. The paved part wasn’t terribly interesting – lots of pine trees, dry grass, and armadillos (seriously, they were everywhere). The woods parts were much more fun. The first section was very piney, but then we got into a section with more oak trees, which is my favorite type of Florida hiking.
The first 2/3 of the hike were nice and easy, which made for good opportunities for catching up with dad, talking politics, money, etc. We also realized during this that it had been 10 years(!) since we hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon together. Which by the way, I still consider to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever done (tied with living in Nicaragua for six weeks).
You may have noticed that I said that the first 2/3 was an easy hike. Well, the last third threw us a curveball. We had started out on one last loop off the paved path, and at first, it was just as easy and pleasant as the earlier loop. Then we came across one downed tree that we had to hike around. And another. And then we came to this:
The trail was full-on washed out. Now, it was only about two feet deep or so, and a really slow current. But we didn’t particularly want to hike through water. A trail jogger who came to the washout at the same time as us found a fallen tree to cross over the water with, so we decided to try that, rather than use up an extra 30 minutes hiking back where we came. Dad slipped and fell in but didn’t get too wet. I managed to stay up on the log, and I credit my Merrell Barefoot Pace Gloves with that: it’s much easier to grip the log with your feet when you’re in barefoot shoes. Despite the fact that it was an inconvenience, I actually found this part of the hike really fun.
I definitely need to go hiking with my dad more often. It was a great way to catch up, soak up some nature, and get some exercise all at the same time. Win!