As planned, we got up bright and early this morning and packed ourselves full of a hearty breakfast and then loaded up our backpacks and headed to Maurice Goddard State Park. It's about 30 minutes from the park where we are staying.
We arrived early and located the main, long, hiking trail. The trail is paved and if you do the whole thing, you go completely around Wilhelm Lake. That was our plan. The weather was what I anticipated for a crisp fall day when I made the reservations months ago - mostly cloudy and low to mid 60's.
This trail is used a lot by bicyclists, Although it is paved it features a LOT of sharp downhill descents, steep climbs and sharp turns. The trail was mostly covered with a thick layer of beautifully colored leaves that had fallen. Because they were recently fallen, they had that nice fall scent and not the rotting smell that happens after they sit there for a while.
The trail was beautiful and we took in the fall sites and smells. The dogs had their backpacks on and we let them off leash and they stayed right with us, veering off only occasionally to chase the chipmunks that we saw in bunches!
We also saw several Blue Herons looking for fish along the water. As for people? We only encountered a few bicyclists.
We stopped at a marina for a pit stop about 5.5 miles in and took in the sites of the dam that was built to create the lake,
Shortly after that, the sun came out and the temperature rose dramatically. We shed our sweatshirts and soaked it up. I was a bit worried about Chakotay, but he hung in like a champ!
At mile 10, we reached a beautiful area where you could launch boats and there were picnic tables. It was a perfect location to have lunch and take a break. We met some very friendly guys who were putting in a fishing boat - one of them had a heavy Boston accent and told me how much he loved Boxers.
We moved the picnic table into the sun and enjoyed a very leisurely lunch. Our backpacks were noticeably lighter for the short 2 miles we had left!
We finished up at just over 12 miles but it was still early, so we headed over to another hiking trail. This was was supposed to be very short, but it was the more challenging steep hiking through the woods and under and over fallen trees and other obstacles. Unfortunately we veered off course and kept heading deeper into the woods and it was well beyond the supposed .75 miles each way, so we reversed course and got back to Dexter at 2 miles.
Back at the cabin I threw in a pork loin to cook - one thing about being in a cabin - with a full stove, oven and fridge, it is easier to eat the right things!!
The boys got rewarded for the exercise and for their good behavior with some marrow bones and then we chilled out and watched some tv on Marc's laptop.
We are going to bed exhausted in the best way!