Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tyke Hike #5 - Hypothermia at Lapham Peak

Heading out to the trails today with a steady and chilly drizzle lingering throughout the morning hours, I was a bit worried that no one would show up and the plans and work would be for naught. But it wasn't! Nine ready, willing, and wet hikers kicked off Tyke Hike with a trip up the tower to check out the autumn colors. Though the leaves were not yet at peak and a paralyzing wind greeted us at the top, the view was still impressive enough to excite the participants for the ongoing tree transformation from green to the color spectrum.

After heading back down to earth, we headed into the forests at a quicker rate than usual to escape the rain and find the comfort of the canopy. We found some varmint holes die-hard prairie and forest flowers as we trekked down the somewhat muddy and slippery slope. Stopping for a photo op at a nearly hollowed out yet vibrant oak, we heard the skies open up and felt the shifting winds escalate. As the pitter patter of light drops magnified into steady downpours, we felt very fortunate to be protected by nature's umbrella, but knew we might be overstaying our welcome. Before the weather could take a further turn for the worse, we headed back from where we came.

Thought the rain did lighten up, we decided to warm up at the Hausmann Nature Center where the hikers enjoyed the natural art activities for kids, the artifact samples of antlers, pelts, and turtle shells, and the beautiful and informative display about the Ice Age Trail.

Though the hike was not what it was planned out to be, it didn't get washed away as I had feared. In fact, the mammoth backpack that accompanies every Tyke Hike and shared among the participants was officially named Mojo. Hopefully, the weather will have a better "mojo" for our next Tyke Hike, on the Hartland Segment starting at Centennial Park. Hope to see you there!

***Special thanks to fellow volunteer Kevin Kuhlmann for some of the pictures and being the sweeper for the hike.

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