I told you last week that I fell off a bridge during our ten mile hike and jammed my toe in my boot when I landed. Meantime, the toe slightly puffed up and starting turning purple. I was going to sterilize a needle and pop it myself. Dirt Man convinced me to go to the doc to have it lanced. The doc drilled (not as in power tools but twisting a needle in there!) three holes to relieve the pressure and drain it and put me on some antibiotics. The throbbing stopped, so all was good. I decided that I was not going to let that get in my way of training for the Utah trip, so Dirt Man planned a simple two mile hike for this weekend.
I padded up the toe and cushioned it with a thick sock. As soon as I put on the boot, it started throbbing like a migraine. That was strike one. I was not deterred. I told him it was fine, and we headed out. We got around the corner and I realized Id forgotten my camera! Strike two. Dirt Man would not turn back because he had his! We have very different eye views when taking pictures. Still, I agreed to demand him to take the pictures I wanted. All was well because I enjoy bossing people around! We got to the end of the street and I realized I forgot the plastic bags in case Wylie pooped on the trail. Strike three. That is usually an out in baseball, but we kept going anyway. We felt safe in that department because Wylie NEVER uses the bathroom when she’s on a leash. (There ended up being a bag receptacle for pet litter at the arboretum anyway.)
We proceeded on our hike, and it was a glorious day for hiking. Hurricane Earl apparently cooled things down in our area. I didn’t even use bug repellant, and never got a single mosquito bite. Amazing!
The Chesapeake Arboretum is located on forty-seven acres nestled in between several neighborhoods. There are many entrances throughout the subdivisions. As we stepped onto the trail it was like stepping into a magical forest sans the actual magic. But I was waiting for Robin Hood to come swooping through at any moment. Some of the trees were gigantic. The varieties were unbelievable. Dirt Man was in heaven as dendrology was a major course of study for him in college.
Dirt man found this “letter box” which is similar to a geocache. Unfortunately, we did not have an inkpen on us to sign it. He just packaged it back up and placed it where he had found it. He had recently found a geocache on a job site.
I think the roots of this tree are amazing. There are all kinds of nooks and crannies to offer shelter to small animals. I didn’t see any hanging around but there was a spider web covering the top portion of one opening. I think this tree is a poplar.
There were two and a half miles of trails. One of them was a native tree trail which offers an opportunity to identify and study trees native to Virginia and North Carolina Coastal areas. I won’t go into identifying trees by the types of leaves, but it is interesting.
Not only did this forest please our visual senses but it tantalized our olfactory senses as well. The trail ran along a sandy creek. Entering some areas of the trail we were met with fruity, flowery, resinous, or spicy scents. One stretch even smelled swampy which led to another that was very pungent and earthy almost like a freshly flooded odor. We found that the flowery area contained rose, and part of the spicy had bayberry and persimmon. The fruity areas smelled almost like fermented fruit. We came across cucumber tress and pawpaws. I was amazed at the varieties of trees.
The roots on this tree were tall like walls. I’ve never seen tree roots like that. I think it was some sort of a hardwood, ironwood or American elm maybe.
I loved coming upon these quotes through the native tree trail. I also like that there were benches scattered among the trails. The trails have a mulch bedding which makes walking softer and easier on the body. I much prefer mulch over gravel or asphalt trails which are really hard on the feet and body.
We came upon a lake of geese. We could hear the scurrying about of squirrels throughout the woods. Some of the hikers encountered land and water snakes. I am happy to report that we did not!
I think this tree is interesting the way it seperates from the base trunk into three and then limbs out.
This tree looks as if it’s pulling itself from the ground trying to reach the sky.
This is a mural on a shed at the main house at the parking lot. Everyone loves “The Giving Tree”. This lists the names of the companies or people who sponsor or volunteer services to the arboretum.
These bumblebees are sure loving this perfectly ripened fig.
When we finished the two and a half miles, my toe was throbbing. As soon as I took off my boots and put on my trusty Keen sport sandals, all was well with the world. I felt like I could take on a bit more. Seriously, I think my hiking boots weigh me down and hold me back. With my Keens, I was able to keep up without any effort. We headed over to a lake that my husband’s company built years ago and hiked in that area. I guess we actually totaled four and a half miles, but it’s my story so I’m calling it five miles…after doing it with a throbbing toe, I consider that a right earned!
This fish statue (I think it looks like a totem) was carved with a chainsaw. This chainsaw art was done by a local artisan who specializes in it. I’d say that takes some talent.
Even with a lanced toenail, five miles was much easier on our bodies that the ten mile hike last weekend. We were able to continue with our day instead of crashing like last weekend. Guess we should have started our training with a shorter hike and worked our way up to the longer and more rugged ones.