June and Hawn State Park (and Rocks)

It definitely feels like summer, but it’s not yet officially. This week started out at 90+ degrees and will carry on until the weekend. Sunday B and I planned on hiking at Hawn State Park and my friend K joined us! We left our house at 8am and made it to the trailhead at 9:45. We had all intentions of keeping it relatively easy since it was going to be hot so we chose White Oaks Trail, an easy to moderate 3.75 mile trail. When we got there however it was pleasantly breezy, not humid and surprisingly not at all crowded for such a popular park. We changed our plans last minute because who doesn’t want to walk along a creek on a hot day?

We started on the Pickle Creek Trail, walking northwest until the .70 mile trail came to a junction. We set off south on white trail connector 1 and got onto Whispering Pines. We did the southwest portion of that trail and hopped on the white trail connector 3, and looped back up on to Pickle Creek to get back to the parking lot. We ended up hiking 7.3 miles total. It didn’t feel like it at all! 

Except for that end part where you climb and scramble about an eighth of a mile’s worth of boulders and “watermelon sized rocks” that really tested out my weak ankles in a pair of mid-boots (success!). I didn’t notice the rocks and boulders going in – and I think it’s because I was mesmerized by the trickling creek and the serene, shadowy beauty. Large flat stones crossing the entire creek, making crossing if you had to a breeze. When we were leaving there were families enjoying swimming in the deeper spots. 

We saw 3 ticks and B found 3 turtles!There were a couple of moments I had that really put into perspective how much work I have to do the next three months to prep for 8-9 mile hikes every day for a week. There are muscles in my back and calves I haven’t used in too long that came out to yell at me and new tiny blisters developing on my pinky toes. I was only carrying about 6lbs on my back and I hurt much worse after that hike than I do when we take overnight trips carrying 25 pounds. 

I blame the rocks.

When we got done, we stopped at a little winery called Watertower Winery in Ste. Genevieve for some sangria and to take in the scenery of the beautiful Missouri countryside. 

Hawn State Park is highly recommended! We plan to come back this fall and spend a couple nights at the campground with Hank and the dogs. I miss fall and winter van camping. I am not a summer person!

Today marks exactly 3.5 months until we head out to Virginia for our Shenandoah section hike! Yesterday marked day one of training for it. Ugh.
Training for me includes eating more protein and less carbs and sugar, hiking more when I can, walking more, wearing my boots to work, doing lots of squats, and using a stair stepper with a 30lb backpack on. 

Lots to do! *ugly cry face*

My entry later this week will be another hair post! After nearly a year I have ventured away from No ‘Poo. I have found an incredible, all natural product. Stay tuned!


J

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