where like minds meet

I planned my travel route, printed a hard copy map and even reviewed it with my doesn't need GPS savvy husband. I thought I chose the best travel route to a highly anticipated Fall hike-a-bout in the woods. Much to my dismay, the route I chose to take to meet blogger Val at Kickapoo Valley Reserve (KVR) was a total bust. I will never take that route to get there again, unless it's for a slooow Sunday type scenic drive.

The mapped route apparently didn't take into consideration the hilly curvy roads and multiple Amish buggies one has to patiently coast behind. What really threw me for a loop, was the closer I got to KVR the less signage there was. At times I had no idea what the speed limit was (changes willy nilly) OH that is right. No worries, I was moving at the speed of a Morgan pulling a cart!

I really thought I was doing good on time. Until I wasn't. I ended up being very (very) late and completely frustrated by the time I happened upon KVR. 
With little road signage I wasn't sure which direction was shorter around the 8,600 acre park, to get to where I needed to be. I pulled over to text Val and let her know where I was. Our phones didn't connect more than they did. After finally connecting and turning around, she found me. I must have looked really overwhelmed (I was) because Val was very understanding. Not remotely mad. Now that's a good friend!! Whew, what a rough way to start a beautiful day.


Our hike started by walking UP to a lookout. I needed to catch my breath more than once. WOW, I am out of shape!! That was humbling, and a clear sign I need to start working out again. The climb really wasn't that steep, unless you don't hike elevations. I do walk the dogs almost every day, but our property is mostly flat. I am more about taking in my surroundings, and walk at a stroll.

The lookout was beautiful!! We sat, and chatted. Val took more photos than I did up/along the way, including one of us. You can view them on her blogpost about this adventure. I think in part because my mind was still preoccupied, trying to let go of my heavy thoughts.

It is always interesting to see what captures another photographer's attention. 


I didn't want to interrupt our conversation, and took a quick phone photo as we hiked past this:

serious rock face peeking around the tree & watching intently

made me smile

We walked out of the woods and into a stunning prairie. Orange and yellow hues glowed as far as the eye could see, between the grass swayyying in the breeze. I was awe struck!!

Prairie's are so special, for their hidden qualities. You have to stop, listen and look. They are a great place for portraits, birding and nature watching in general. I am a big fan!

the woods we walked out of

day moon was visible from the prairie

Have I ever mentioned I love photographing weeds?! I find them so interesting, in all seasons. Look at all the seeds held captive: 

stopped me in my tracks

prairie bokeh is gorgeous, especially in the Fall

We didn't walk through or explore this covered bridge very close. There was a warning sign posted on the fence, it was being inhabited by active bees/wasps. I was glad the route Val chose for us went the other direction!

The yellow arrow below points to the (white rock spot) lookout we hiked up to. We saw the covered bridge in the distance, when we were at the lookout:

We crossed a bridge, over a serene part of the Kickapoo River:

The sandy patterns in the water caught my eye, and a lone leaf. Very reflective of where my mind is at these days.

my favorite photo of the day

We had a wonderful time together sharing good conversation in nature. Kickapoo Valley Reserve, where like minds meet. It should really be their motto.


Shirley said...

I don't do GPS either, long time user of paper maps here!
What a lovely hike- I love love love that rock face, kind of like a squished version of the Grinch!
I have been meaning to skip over to Val's blog and catch up on her posts.... been busy! (See blog)

Val Ewing said...

Awww, thanks! I know how easy it is to get lost around my 'neck' of the woods.

The best fun is seeing our hike through your eyes as always. I wouldn't have given the grasses and prairie part much thought but you showed me how interesting it can be.

Huh! I will have to go back and wander about that rock to find that face.

Love those Cupped and closed Queen Anne's Lace! They have such a beautiful shape to them.

The sand in the Kickapoo. Love it.
Looking forward to another adventure!

Grey Horse Matters said...

A great day with a like minded friend, what could be better than that. It's hard to have a favorite picture they're all wonderful, but I do love the prairie pics and I've always loved covered bridges.

Far Side of Fifty said...

You know the way now! Good to hike with like minded friends! Your photos are wonderful!

Linda said...

It was fun reading both your accounts. A reminder that the blogging world is the real world, too. Good people, and it comes through all the time in what you write and photograph.