Two parks; one weekend!

Oh weekend. Why? Why must you go so quickly? Your sunny yet cool late spring temperatures…your way of making patio drinks and live music so alluring…so much to do and so little time. Friday I got off early. We ran some errands, hit up REI and then had dinner and drinks. Before long it started raining like crazy!


I am not sure what happened this weekend weather wise. Last week was SO warm, humid and stormy that when I was out doing one of my 5ks, my hair looked like I had just emerged from the depths of 1987. Not cute. But the last few days have been so mild and breezy and low/mid 60s…how can you NOT spend it outdoors and moreso how can you not be hiking!?

I had to work Saturday morning but M and another friend of ours, K, made afternoon plans to hike and invited me along. We settled on Klondike Park! I was just there last weekend and still excited at how enjoyable and lovely it was. I couldn’t wait to do the other side of the park B and I didn’t make it to.

M, K and I had an awesome day exploring the rest of Klondike Park. Also! M’s new rescue dog Hilde joined us. She was AWESOME and kept up with us like she’s done it a thousand times.  

Hilde!Lots more bluffs on this side.

We logged a little over 6 hiking miles and then headed back toward St. Louis after a pit stop in adorable Augusta for some burgers and beer at a little hole in the wall called Roadhouse. There are tons of wineries and biker bars on the stretch of road that we fully intend to revisit this summer sometime! 

Hi! 


Hilde was wiped out the entire drive back, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of her smooshed against me snoring. 

After we got back in the neighborhood of home, M and I met up with our husbands at another mutual friends place and had some wine and a bonfire. We didn’t stay too long due to our plans for the following morning.


Sunday is now unofficially mine and B’s designated hike day. He is falling more and more into it right alongside me and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with him. We have been searching for some long day hikes near us in Illinois, with no luck yet. However, we came across Beaver Dam State Park outside of Carlinville, IL which is only about 45 minutes north of us. There are 8 miles of connecting trails within the park which sounded perfect.


We took BOTH of our doggies with us which was a first and definitely not a last! They did great. Little Cash did all 6 miles himself with no backpack rides and Bane was so amped to smell all the smells and pee on every tree I don’t think he even had time to be tired. 


I would say overall I was semi-impressed with this park. I definitely want to camp here and B and I decided this would be the place we will do an overnight run through…our first backpacking trip before we commit to 2 (or more) days of a “real” backpacking trip. You know…the shakedown. The, what-do-we-need-next-time and we-can’t -live-without-_____ run through. I like the safety net of having our car just a few miles away instead of a days walk. The trails are looped and short enough we can walk through them a couple times to practice having weight on our backs. 

We discovered you can park at the main entrance near the lake and then hike a few miles to the campground! …Or you can be a normal person and park AT the campground. But what’s the fun in that?!

The place was busy but…not?…if that makes sense. Lots of fishermen and women, but nobody on the trails. The RV/electric campground had a few campers scattered but the primitive sites were empty. The whole park had a nostalgic summer camp feel to it. 
I loved the tree cover here. Lots of shade, easy and subtle inclines. Wide trails throughout the woods and a gorgeous lakeside trail. 



Family photo!Pooped pup.

One bummer was that a stretch of trail was closed. I don’t know if it’s permanent (it looked a little overgrown) or if it’s temporarily weather related due to all the rain we’ve had. 

We also have had an evening full of pulling ticks off the dogs…and as I was typing this entry…one off of myself!!! Gross! 6 total! 😝

After our day hike we ran to the grocery store and headed back to the aforementioned mutual friends house for some grilling and to listen to the hockey game. 

What a great and active weekend! It just goes by too fast. A busy workweek awaits and just 9 more days of working until Memorial Day weekend…4 days of camping and hiking! It can’t get here soon enough. 

Here’s to hoping I find no more ticks!

J

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