Before I left for a few weeks to go up north, I had the idea to go on an impromptu long day hike with my partner, Karisma. We had been wanting to go to the Jordan River Valley, about eighteen miles. It's about a three hour drive each way from the house; Karisma wanted to spend the night near the trailhead, but I convinced her that it was better to do it all in one day, against her better judgement.
We made our plan using DBL (Don't Be Late!) To be home before midnight, we had to wake up around 5:00 AM, and I had to drive there. I glanced at a trail map and picked a good starting point, and set the GPS. Karisma wasn't fully awake. After much shenanigans, we managed to get some worse-than-usual fast food breakfast along the way, and got started just a little late around 9:30.
This hike is a loop, and we had the option to go one direction and do a longer part of marsh walk first, or do that longer stretch on the way back. I figured better to do it first, so we set out in that direction. The mosquitos were quite aggressive, the trail not quite present, and the water was abundant on the path. It was a damp few miles but eventually we made it to the main trail!
By the time we reached Dead Man's Hill overlook, seven miles in and up a steep climb, Karisma was fully awake. I asked her to take a look at the map to find our next turn while I used the restroom. When I came out she had some news... I had parked at the wrong spot, and we had added seven miles to our already long hike 🤣
Shocking. Well, we still had some energy and didn't want to turn back and make the walk too short... so we decided that we could be up for a twenty five mile hike, although it would be quite late.
The day had warmed up quite a bit, but we saw that the fish hatchery wouldn't be far out of the way, so we took the turn off, excited for a nice cool place to take a break and see some fish, refill our water, etc. But as we entered the parking lot we noticed that there weren't any cars there. Strange. We tried the doors. All locked. Hatchery? Closed.
The redeeming feature of the closed hatchery was the beautiful pollinator gardens, planted specifically to attract bees. Tons of flowers, and lots of bees. Taking a different path, we sweatily trudged on for a few miles, waiting for an easy access river to take a break at. Just when we started seeing some good options, Karisma got stung by a wasp, walking in the middle of the path minding her own business. We decided that was a fine time to take a break and filter some water, and perhaps get the Benadryl cream out of the first-aid kit 😯