Cam: Hi, Mom. Thanks for being with--
Mags: Let's cut to the chase. Or just play chase. No, wait. Where were you all day Monday?!!? You were supposed to be home by lunch time! We could have starved!
Mom: Hi, girls. Thanks for having me, Cam. Maggie, your daddy was home with you and he gave you lunch. I went to hike the Konza Prairie Nature Trail with Beth.
|Echinacea along the trail|
Cam: A hike? Did those handsome Border Collies get to go with you?
Mom: No, they don't allow dogs.
Mags: What about us? You could have taken us!
Mom: No Siberians, either. Besides, the heat index was up over 100.
Cam: Oh my ...
Mags: But you left at 0730. That still doesn't explain why you were gone so long! It only should have taken you a few hours for the hike, plus an hour total travel time. You got lost - didn't you?!!?
Mom: Not lost so much as we took the wrong trail at one point...
Cam: We can get back to that in a bit. It must have been gorgeous out there!
Mom: It was!!! We saw at least 10 different species of birds, lots of butterflies and other cool bugs, a deer, lots of different wildflowers, and incredible vistas like this:
Mags: Wow! I could run and run and run and run out there! Was it all wide open prairie like that?
Mom: No, we went through some scattered woodsy areas by the creek. We crossed back and forth a couple times, over two different bridges.
|Not Mom's favorite bridge|
Cam: That bridge looks a bit ... wobbly, Mom.
Mom: It was, Cam. Going out was OK-ish, but we had to cross back over it coming back. That was a bit trickier, as I was swimmy-headed from the heat and dehydration.
Cam: Mom! Didn't you take water with you!?!
Mom: Umm... yes, Cam. But I left it in Beth's Jeep. We thought we were going to only hike 2.6 miles.
Mags: That's part of that "lost" thing we're coming back to, isn't it?
Mom: Mmmm... Hey, Maggie. Look! A birdie!
Cam: Are we changing the subject away from Mom getting ... sidetracked?
Mags: What was the best thing you saw out there?!!?
Mom: Your daddy hiking toward us with a bag full of bottles of water and ice.
Mags: I thought that stuff was going to be our big finish. I meant nature-wise!
Mom: Ah. Right. Sorry, Peep. We saw so many amazing things! The views! The birds! The wildflowers! I think the best was seeing THREE different species of lizards!
Mags: Wow. That Collared guy posed like that without a treat!?! That's amazing!
Cam: So Mom ... what happened to make you late!?
Mom: We were hiking along, doing great.
Even though it had been thunder-storming when we left home, it stopped by the time we got to the Konza Prairie. As the sun rose, so did the heat. I was thankful for sunscreen, bug repellent, and a hat, though I will say, after enough hours at temps near 100 degrees, Neutrogena Sport for Faces SPF 70 will melt right off. We took a tiny - and I do mean tiny - detour to see the Hokanson Homestead, built by Swedish settlers from the 1870s.
Mags: That sounds fun!
Mom: It was. It was only about 100 meters below the trail we had been on. I was starting to get a little tired and more than a little hot, but we thought the homesteaders' area was pretty close to being back near the start-point of the trail. We had a map, but it was not detailed. Our iPhones were down to about 20% power or less. We looked around and saw a sign for the trail.
|Trail Marker. Apparently for the King's Creek Trail, not the Nature Trail.|
Cam: Yea! A trail marker! That's good, right? I like marking trails myself...
Mom: It would have been even better if it has said WHICH trail it was. We followed the sign and walked and walked and ... that's when I started texting your dad. We were running a lot later than expected. And we walked and walked.
Mags: Yeah, Dad filled us in when he gave us lunch. You weren't home, so he had to. Do you know he doesn't sing the "It's Supper-Dupper-Dupper" song to us? Really. Anyway, there were texts and texts that didn't go through and dropped calls and stuff!
Mom: Yes, there were. That was a bit frustrating! We finally realized at some point that we were on the wrong trail.
|Thank God for this sign|
When we got to the "trail closed" sign, we knew exactly where we were and what we needed to do. TURN AROUND.
Mags: Why?!? What's behind me?
Cam: Not you, Maggie. So you could just retrace and hike back, right?
Mom: We could have, if it wasn't so hot. Or if we had water. After our probably 2-mile detour, we made it to the Hokanson Homestead, then back up to our original trail. I really needed to sit down - and there, finally, was a spliced-log bench! And it was in the shade! We tried to regroup, but knew that if we tried to go further, we were going to get sick. Very sick.
Mags: Like when I do too many zoomies right after I eat and then I horka?!?
Mom: Sort of like that, Maggie. I didn't know if I was going to pass out or horka. And my head was swimming.
Cam: Was Beth OK?
Mom: You can ask Beth for details next time you see her, but I'll just say she knew it was time to call in the Cavalry!
Mags: I thought Dad was Quartermaster. Ha roo roo roo!
Mom: Good one, Peep! But yes, we admitted defeat and called your dad for help. He couldn't bring the vehicle to where we were, but ...
Cam: THAT'S why you said the best thing you saw all day was Dad hiking toward you with a bag full of bottles of water and ice!
Mom: Yes! It took him a while to get out there, the trailhead is about a half-hour drive from the house, but once there, he got a call through, we mustered up our strength, and hiked out to meet him on the trail.
Cam: Ooooh, what about that Trippy-Trap Bridge? You said you were dizzy!
Mom: I walked behind your dad and had a hand on his shoulder.
Cam: Go, Dad!
Mags: What an adventure!!!
Cam: Did you learn anything from this, Mom?
Mom: Tons of things, Cammie: don't leave the water in the vehicle, know where you're going, black shorts and a black sleeveless top isn't always a good fashion choice, sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen, wear a hat ...
Mags: Anything else?
Mom: If you're going to get lo-- sidetracked, do it with someone who has a great sense of humor and an upbeat disposition!
Mags: Yeah, Beth is great!
Mom: Yes, she is!
Cam: I agree! Will you go back again?
Mom: Absolutely! ... when it cools down. Way down. But it was GREAT!
Cam: Thanks for the interview, Mom.
Mom: Thank you, Cam. And Maggie. If anyone would like to see more photos from our great adventure, they can click this link.
Mags: That's a wrap!
|"I'm hot just thinking about that!"|
"Me, too, Mags!"
It's like so many of you have said - this whole thing could have been avoided if we had kept Mom (and Beth) on a leash. Please learn from our mistake - and have a serene Sunday!