Boy! The days are getting shorter, aren't they? Every time you look around, the sun is going down earlier and earlier. Phew! Where'd the time go??
Well, how 'bout we take a little time back? Midweek!!
"It's a Midweek Adventure!"
"It's a training hike!"
"It's an excuse to sit quietly afterwards, and sip something tasty with your pizza..."
(Shhhhhh! Whisper now: It could be quiiiiiet stroll through the lengthening shadows to just listen to the woods get ready for bed!)
We meet up on the southwest side of Indy -- IN37, to be exact, right after peak rush hour. DEPARTING from McDonalds at 5:45pm, we pick up the Martinsvillians at 6:15, hence heading down to MMSF, pick a trail, and go burn it up. Light-n-fast "work-out" hike in a nearby, but still very neat, forest. (Or, go slow&easy, as the day or the participants wish. Is it raining? Test your raingear! Cook/eat a trail dinner! Whatever!) We rotate the trails (in choice and direction) so if your favorite has gone by, don't worry -- we'll change direction and do it again! We'll bushwhack! And as the daylight truly does challenge us earlier and earlier, we'll have two factors working in our favor (for you night-hike fans) -- 1) autumn's "fall-back" time change (1st November Sunday) and 2) loss of leaves....
MMSF has 4 primary hiking trails. Here's a pretty awful map:
http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-MM_Hiking.pdf Low Gap and Three Lakes Loop are both roughly 10 miles, Mason Ridge and Rock House are roughly 3 miles each. If we started a 10 mile trail at 6:30pm and march (or run for those so inclined) at 2.5mph or better, we're done at 10:30pm. 3 or 6 mile trails might just be an hour or two. Darkness right now is roughly 9pm-9:30 -- this means that we'll be cruising through the forest in conditions of low-angled light ("Beauteous!") and when night birds are warming their tweety little pipes up, and day animals are seeking shelter, and the early night critters are just waking up. (Yes, it's one of my favorite times of day to be in the woods.)
Along with HYDRATION and a FLASHLIGHT and even a spare bit of INSULATION (a warm hat, a long-sleeved shirt -- something to warm you should we wish to stop), you might even want to bring something I abhor: BUG SPRAY. But! This might be the perfect sort of task for it: short term use, in low lands, with minimal breeze. Ugh.
And you know what else? A CHAIR! ("A chair?!?" Yesssss, a chair. Sitting quietly post-hike, for even 5-10 minutes while all the nightlife is gearing up? Prettyyyyy fun!)
So! Whatta ya say? A little deep, dark forest action in the middle of your week?
Sure beats NetFlix. Oh, and, bring the kids. Get 'em outside.