Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Are we there yet?

This weekend, we headed out to Manhattan to spend a day reliving my college days and also to go check out Konza Prairie. It's sad that the whole 6 years I was at K-State, I never once visited it. So I decided it was time to go exploring.

The day started out great, with us visiting one of my favorite hangouts in college...Java (now called Bluestem Bistro). We enjoyed a great cup of coffee and then decided to head out to Konza. I, being the bright one in the family, went off and left my trail maps and also the maps to Konza, but I figured, no big deal, we can find it. We had success in finding it and were on our way to enjoying the trail.

We decided to take the 6 mile route. We've run 13 miles, I think we can handle 6, right? Well the beginning of the trail was wonderful. We saw lots of deer, beautiful prairie land, peaceful streams. The bummer was that I had to use the restroom, like I have to do every 30 minutes. We came upon a restroom, and I thought we hit gold. I had Jason check it out for me, and there was a toilet...lacking a flushing valve though. Poot. So I thought I can hold it.

We continue walking and it was really beautiful and peaceful. The Lord's creation is so vast and peaceful. We came into a valley area covered with trees. Jason suggested this might be a good place for me to relieve myself. After some deliberation, I thought, I can't do this. This is not me...I'm a Marriott kinda girl, not a camper! So we moved on. Of course, 30 seconds later, here comes a runner through the trail. That made me really happy I didn't try, because he would've gotten an eye-full...that is for certain.

We continued hiking and we reach the summit and it was just beautiful. Hot, but beautiful. We were descending the hill and were happy to see that we had more well traveled paths ahead of us. We had been walking on some rustic trails previously. We're walking along and then we see the trail hits a closed gate. On the other side of the gate, it says, "Restricted Area". Hmm... So, where do we go? We decide to backtrack thinking we may have missed the turnoff. We find another area that has a slight trail and we follow that. We come across this flowing stream which felt so good to walk through...we had sloshy shoes for awhile, but it was worth it! Then we saw another hill...no tracks. GOODNESS! So we decide to turn around. I am starting to break down....it's 90 degrees and we're both hot and wishing for shade and a water fountain...or maybe even a puddle.

We decided to climb over the gate and look for a main road, and maybe we'd be lucky and come across an ambulance. No such luck. We found the main road and thought which way do we go now? We both felt that going left was the right direction, but the landscape didn't look too familiar. The Lord was hearing a few prayers from me that day! We kept walking and walking and walking. Every time we'd see a bin in the horizon, we thought, it has to be around that corner. And nope, it wasn't! Jason suggested we need to turn around, but I couldn't imagine backtracking only to find we picked the wrong way. So we trudged on, and would try and run to get there faster. Of course though, we were exhausted and out of water. So we didn't last long.

Finally the surroundings were starting to look familiar and we saw the Konza sign. Hallelujer!!!!! After 3 miles on this main road, we were smoked! I have never been more happy to see the cemetary located near the park entrance! After 3-1/2 hours of hiking, we were so thankful for air conditioning and water!!! And that whole having to use the restroom, well, I think my body used that for reserves! So if Konza is interested, they can add our 12 mile route to their map now!

All in all, it was worth it!

No comments: