This morning's San Jose Stay Fit walk was at Calero County Park and Water Slide Preserve. Mrs Notthat did not go since she had already made plans to visit some daffodils. Coach Luap (not his real name) did not go since he needed to be a good husband.
In any case the weather was very nice - it never rained on us and even hit us with some sunshine occasionally.
We start with the first true porta-pottie shot we have had in a while (that's Coach Werdna - not his real name - primping before we get started.
While Werdna was getting his walking face on, the rest of the group waits. From left to right, thats Eve (sigh...), Uidualc, Nna, and two guest coaches, Wel and Ekim.
Any doubts about whether the previous day's rain would leave the trails wet were dealt with right away.
We then came to the first of the rain-swollen creeks we had to cross. It was impossible to cross without getting your feet wet.
As Eve crosses, Coach Ekim helpfully points out a crocodile (or at least a fierce looking rock).
You know it's a nicely muddy trail when you see everyone in single-file on the grass along the side.
For the first time in a month or so, we had enough coaches to be able to split into a longer group and a shorter group. At this point, most opted for the shorter route. That left Coach Werdna, Uidualc, and I as the long route walkers.
A lot of the trail was like this - narrow and more of a small creek than something you would walk on. And I forgot to mention that there were a lot of uphill sections.
Look at all that blue sky! (If you can get away from looking at the maps.)
We then came upon another creek. The first one was narrow enough that you at least felt like you could jump over it (which I don't think anyone successfully did), but this one was obviously too wide to cross that way. So we all took off our shoes and waded.
This was a bit heart-wrenching for Uidualc since he is an actual bridge engineer. He looked around a bit, but could not find any likely bridge-building bits laying around, and so took his boots off and waded across.
After putting our shoes back on we went about 100 yards further up the trail only to find the creek needing to be crossed again. One thing that Werdna and I discovered when we took our shoes off for the previous crossing was that they were already pretty soaked, so we both just left them on for this crossing. (Werdna, caught up a bit in the Olympic spirit, thought about using his walking sticks to vault across, but wisely changed his mind. That would have made a great picture though.)
A quick look at the map showed two more crossings ahead, so Uidualc chose to leave his boots off. Naturally, both of these crossings turned out to use culverts and no wading was necessary.
As a reward for his cleverness, Uidualc found an old horseshoe that he is going to make into a medal for this walk. (No, I cannot explain why he is wearing his hat that way, but I'm sure there is a good reason. It's probably a Romanian thing.)
The last moderately interesting thing on this hike was this Bat Inn. That building on stilts is filled with bats. No word on whether there were any robins as well. Or the Batmobile.
And here is a final amazing thing - after that long, muddy walk/swim, Uidualc jumped on his bike and rode it five miles to his house. (Note that the hat is now back to a more traditional position.)
It was a fun, if wet, walk with beautiful views, wild turkeys, and several deer. But next time Uidualc has promised to bring his kayak.
That's it - move along...
PS: Once I got home and started watching the second half of the Kansas/Oklahoma State basketball game (which was won by the wrong team), I ended up finding two ticks behind my right knee! Yikes!