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Archive for the 'Dog' Category

Shaw Lake hike

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Saturday afternoon, Sarah and I went hiking with my friend Dave. We brought our dog Rob and Dave brought his two dogs. I wrote about Dave’s mountain biking accident before, and it’s past time for an update. Dave suffered a spinal cord injury and for a while thought he was going to have to have surgery. When he got a second opinion, that doctor said they should wait for him to heal more first. And now it looks like he probably won’t be having surgery. His condition continues to improve, and now he needs to do some hiking and riding on the trainer to get back in shape and continue healing. The main remaining symptoms for Dave are some pain and numbness in his arms.

We went hiking with Dave a couple of weeks ago and he had trouble with even small hills, but now he’s climbing very well and in fact was moving at quite a clip on Saturday. He even did well bushwhacking through a difficult section with a lot of brush (more on that in a minute). He’s still got a ways to go before he can get back on the bike, but he’s getting there and looks better every time I see him. His progress is very encouraging.

Anyway, we had talked about hiking and Dave suggested the Shaw Lake hike in Yellowwood State Forest. Shaw Lake was drained back in 2002 because the dam was deemed unsafe, but the trail is still more or less there. We arrived to find a lot of logging has been going on there. Mitch Daniels, our current governor, has increased logging in our state forests by 300%, and it’s been quite evident on some of our hikes this year. Apparently, there’s a public input session in a couple of weeks about the logging in the state forests. I hope we can do something about it.

The trail was more like a logging road, really, and it was fairly easy. Dave said he’d been cross country skiing there in the past, and I can see how it’d be great for that. There’s a long, gradual downhill slope that curves only gently.

Heavy logging
Heavy logging

Once at the bottom, we found a clearcut meadow, and there were some of the only aspen trees in Indiana, which unfortunately were dead and falling over.

Dave and the dogs
Clearcut area

After a few minutes, we reached the spot where the lake once was. It was really cool to see it and imagine how it would’ve looked full of water, and then to walk in the former lake bed.

Shaw Lake was once here
Shaw Lake was once here

Creek
This creek is all that remains of Shaw Lake

We headed up the opposite side of the ravine and found more logging had blocked the trail. We managed to get through all the brush, but it was pretty challenging.

More logging -- difficult to hike through
The only upside, I guess, is the logging gives you a good view, if you can look past the carnage.

All in all, it was a fun hike, but it was discouraging to see how much logging is happening in our state forests, which I thought were intended to preserve the forests, not cut them down and sell them.

Pate Hollow Trail

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Sarah and I went hiking on the Pate Hollow Trail yesterday, a 7.7-mile hiking trail near Paynetown SRA by Lake Monroe. We did the shorter 3.8-mile eastern section. Initially, I thought it might be better not to take Rob (the dog), as I figured it’d be really muddy and didn’t feel like giving him a bath after our hike. But as we started getting ready, Rob somehow figured out what was going on (I know I didn’t tell him) and got really excited, begging to come with us. We couldn’t resist, so Rob joined us for this hike.

It was a dreary, slightly foggy day in the upper 20s, snowing a bit on and off. Really the kind of day that makes you want to sit at home and not do much of anything, but it really was beautiful once we got moving. Sarah and I have found that we much prefer winter hiking to intense summer heat. Granted, it hasn’t been extremely cold on our hikes thus far, but in colder weather, we can always add layers. In the summer, the heat can be brutal, and there’s little you can do about it. We don’t have to carry as much water during the winter, either.

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Pines along the Pate Hollow Trail

The trail starts right behind the Paynetown DNR office and is pretty close to the highway at first, but before long you are away from it and it’s surprising how quiet it is, given its proximity to the highway. The trail starts on a ridge and gradually descend into a valley. You barely even notice you’re going downhill. The trail crosses a creek a couple of times and then begins a gradual climb that doesn’t feel too difficult, but before long you realize you are way above the valley, and in fact higher than you were at the trailhead.

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Rob, running

The trail was well-marked, with maps with yellow arrows indicating your current location, at each intersection. Since we were doing only part of the trail, an old dirt road served as a shortcut.

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The old road

The trail followed the ridge tops for a while longer, climbing higher before descending into another ravine and climbing back up the other side.

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Rob peers across the ravine

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Creek

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Rob and Sarah

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Hills in the distance

This was a really cool trail, and we want to go back and hike the whole thing. The western half of it goes near Lake Monroe, so it should be even more scenic.

Rock Shelter Trail

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Rock Shelter Trail

I haven’t done as much cycling as I’d hoped during my time off, but Sarah and I have done some hiking instead. We got away from hiking for a while, and I think we both forgot how much we enjoy it. We’re lucky that it’s been mostly in the 40s lately, great hiking weather. On Saturday, we hiked the Rock Shelter Trail, which we have hiked before (read about it here). We took our dog Rob with us, who really needed the exercise.

We were dismayed to find a lot of logging going on in Morgan-Monroe State Forest, particularly by this trail. A huge semi was taking up most of the parking lot when we arrived, and we kept hearing logging trucks through part of the hike. Other than that and occasional blast from a hunter’s rifle, it was a very quiet and peaceful hike. And aside from the trucks, we didn’t see a single other person on the trail. Rob loved it, but didn’t pace himself. Of course, there was no way for him to know how long the hike would be. He was running around a lot and especially liked the parts down by the creek. Toward the end of our 3-mile hike, he was getting pretty tired.

Us
Us

Rob
Rob

Looking through water bottle
Looking through my water bottle

Trees on a hill
Trees on a hill


Blaze
Sarah and Rob hiking

Rob
Rob

Creekbed
Creek bed

Me, in the rock shelter
Me, in the rock shelter

Moss
Moss

Colorful mushroom
Mushroom

Pond
Pond

Sarah
Sarah

Logging
Logging

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