If you had asked me how I felt about hiking at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, I probably would've growled at you and told you to shut up. However, now that I am safely out of the woods and no longer being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I can honestly say we had a great time.
First of all, I think I'll be contacting someone at the Conecuh National Forest Rangers Office to let them know their trails are NOT clearly marked. Sure, there are little white diamonds on the trees letting you know you're going in the right direction, but there's nothing telling you what, exactly, that direction is. According to the website, there are several loop trails that eventually bring you back to your starting point. Apparently, we were not on one of those loops. After walking approximately EIGHT miles in one direction, we realized we had NO clue where the trail was actually going. So what did we do? Turn around and walk EIGHT miles back to the truck, of course. For those of you that can do math, you know that's a total of SIXTEEN miles. Sixteen miles in the hot, humid, sticky, mosquito invested forest of south Alabama. Delightful. Fall is obviously NOT HERE. So much for that theory.
In all fairness, it really was a great day. I learned all kinds of things about what berries you can eat if you're lost in the woods. (Being around Kevin is kind of like watching that Survivor Man show...he's a walking dictionary of all things outdoors.) I also had a horrible trick played on me and learned the hard way that chewing on the skin of a green Persimmon will make your mouth completely numb, like a bad trip to the dentist. And it tastes awful. Very funny, Kevin. Thank you.
I think the most important thing I learned was that I am very obviously not in shape. Somewhere around mile 12 or 13 I literally thought my legs were on fire. Every muscle was screaming "STOP!" but I couldn't...I still had three miles to go.
I think I will definitely be waiting for the weather to cool off before I venture back into the woods. And next time I'm taking a trail map! And a gallon of bug spray.