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Garden of Gods/Shawnee N'tl Forest
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“Had a great overnight trip Friday/Saturday. Think I'll let stikmon post details later>> his turn.
(and it's not like he'll embellish or anything!! >8-O )
As for me.... soon to be Amtrak-bound again.
To all those concerned about my luggage on Amtrak. Well, sheeyat, I should post an Amtrak trip report. LOL!
Empire Builder from La Crosse, WI to Chicago. Then left Chicago on the City of New Orleans to Newbern, TN. Everyone boarded at Chicago, as that was the train's depature point. Booked full (yes, including the seats in the Sightseer Car... as people got off, those people were put into regular coach seats)
The train left Union Station 1/2 hour late. (These people could learn something about boarding trains from AIRPLANES!)
Supposed to get to Newbern at 4 a.m. It was 6 A.M.!! Poor stikmon and khatru, having to wait!!
OK, as for luggage?? There was not enough room to place it all in the on-board luggage area. I left my HUGE DUFFEL (which contained my backpack [YES, I DO BACKPACK!!! LOL!!!]) in the doorway immediately across from where I got on.
So.... after I was awakened by the conductor saying, "Newbern's coming up in 10 minutes," I went to get off. It was nowhere to be seen. EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!
Finally, as we looked in the lower level "special" seating area (and weren't finding it), a guy there said, hey, there's some back of the last seat here. Voila, there it was. So it disappeared for awhile, but was in fine shape.
Otherwise, I was carrying a small day pack with me.
Tonight I leave at 1-frickin-A.M. IF THE TRAIN'S ON TIME!!!
P.S. stikmon says "hi"”
“Hope you have a good train ride home. Looking forward to stikmon's impartial report (assuming evil Lord Moldywart doesn't inhabit his body again).”
“I grew up in Southern Illinois about 15 miles from Garden of the Gods (in Carterville). That's where I started backpacking, canoeing, climbing, cycling, etc.... I did the River to River trail in 1974 as part of my Eagle project too. Ahhh memories.
Glad to hear you had a great trip. That's a pretty special place in my book. I know some not so well known spots down that-a-ways too.”
“Sorry I missed you guys. I'm just a couple hours from Garden of the Gods. Next time you'll be close to southern Indiana let me know.”
“...nice trip report...sounds like you had so much fun riding the rails...but it was all worth it once you arrive at basestation Stikmon...hey btw...how were those pancakes?....”
“she didn't say anything about pancakes...and they were great!!!
Thanks for asking.
I will post a report later on...I have too much work to do to worry about you piss ants on TT...sheesh...BB you need help man. Get a life and stop being such a whiner.”
“....it's time for your medication Stikmon....”
“Medication? Pass it 'round!”
All I need is some medication...
“hehehe...anyway...here are the photos from our hike
Ok, my report on the weekend...first off, it was a real treat to have Lizs come for thanksgiving weekend. Her train was to arrive at 4am on thurs, I checked the web before leaving my house at 3, good thing, the train was an hour late, I went back to bed, at 4, I got up and left, should have checked one more time, it was an additional hour late, I arrived at 5 and she pulled in at 6. Saw the sun rise over south east Missouri, got back to my house at 7 and proceeded to go back to bed till noon. I got up and put in the Turkey!!! we eventually ate at 6pm and ate all evening. I drank a bit too much and certainly ate too much, so I passed out on the sofa and then woke up to eat and drink some more...gotta love this holiday.
fri morn arose and we got our act together and headed out to Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois @ 11am . 3.25 hour drive and we were there after stopping at the HQ and raided their info center for everything we could. The trail was great...We started on the River to River Trail, it was nice and well marked, it was rather late, and getting kind of dark, so we hiked a bit changed trails and found a really nice campsite right under a huge rock roof and on a bed of leaves @ 4' thick...it was great!!! Khatru had a blast tearing through the leaves and digging for sticks. Lizs got the tent set up and I gathered wood for a really nice fire. There was a great stone fire ring and we set to create a wonderful fire and cooked dinner. there was a really nice stream close by, so water was plentiful. Lizs ate some of my home made dehydrated food, it was really great, and we had tasty cakes (from philly, thanks stratusloop) for desert. We cranked the fire and had a great evening talking and getting to know each other better. this was only our 3rd time with each other...It was really nice. Khatru kept on going for long walks into the darkness, so this gave Lizs and I some private time without the boy around.
Sat morn...awoke to a perfect day...crystal blue, nice temps and a great breeze. we were protected well from the wind, so I made a morning fire and started breakfast...At this point the BOY...Khatru wandered off and then reappeared above us...80' above our heads on the cliff over us. He never returned, so after packing up and making sure the fire was out, we had to go and find him. I hiked up to the cliff edge, and kept calling him, Lizs hiked up a wash across the valley floor, finally after @ 15 minutes of calling him, he came bounding to me...he was overjoyed to see me...I felt so bad, that I didn't even scold him...I said...comon...lets go find Lizs...when we all got back together, we headed down the trail, following the stream, we passed many very pretty bluffs and sandstone towers, the day was perfect. the trail was easy to follow, then it headed off to the right up a wash/gorge, but we headed down stream, we should have turned here, but we didn't and wound up losing the trail...there were no markers of any sort at this area. There were plenty of footprints, but a trail was not very apparent.
Eventually we hit markers for the Wilderness Area. We knew that we had gone too far. so instead of heading back all the way, we decided to bushwack it back and rejoin the trail up on the ridge.
We were doing this when we heard voices below us yelling up to us asking us if we were on the trail...we responded "not exactly". It was couple with a baby out for the day. They told us that this was their second time in 2 years to have lost the trail in the same manner, it was refreshing to know that we weren't the only ones to do so. but we did find the trail and then found a nice shelter out of the wind where we sat and took a break and ate a nice lunch. We finished up the hike and passed some awsome rock formations that I desperatly wanted to climb, Lizs discouraged me, so I didn't do my typical "being Stikmon" stupid and dangerous stuff. Khatru was a real kitty kitty dog and didn't want to climb any rocks with me.
We finished the hike @3pm and were back home by 6, in time for dinner that my mother had prepared.
It was a great hike, a great dinner that night...more drinking, more eating, passed out again, woke up, ate and drank more...gotta love this holiday!
sunday morn. awoke to make fried ham, pancakes, cinamon buns (from Estes Park). Proceded to rake leaves then took Lizs to Piggot Arkansas, where Ernest Hemmingway lived, and then came home to eat (no drinking) and watched tv and realaxed and waited to go to the train station at 10:30, we hit up a geo cache for her on the way to Dyersburg Tn, and then the train came and took Lizs back on the long northward journey to Chicago. I took a nice 30 minute nap while I was driving home, and awoke in my driveway...I love sleep driving.
Got to bed at 1:30...What a great weekend!!! loved every minute of it...but boy am I glad to have those stockings and pantyhose out of my bathroom...whats the deal with women and hanging underthingys in the bathroom???
“You two were an hour and a half from me and I didn't have any idea?? Shame on you Stikmon.”
“Hey, what's with the grey "thingy"? I guess Lizs doesn't care for the Guidelite either. LOL. Just be sure to pass it on!”
“LOL, I have more to say, but not now....
Great weekend with stikkie, as he hates to be called.
Hey, bpbaby, he's a dork, huh?? Well, you were with us in spirit, what with the tent and backpack I got from you. (go check the photos and see if you recognize that tent ;-) Perfect for two, plus dog, errrr "boy"
And Pathman, not to worry!! The gray thingy is a thick WalMart pad Stikmon previously only used for car camping. But I tried to compress it as much as possible and did a semi-decent job. It was used IN CONJUNCTION WITH the Thermarest. (Remember, the one weekend where I froze and discovered in cold weather you needed an additional pad besides the Thermarest?? Yeah, worked well...)
As for trails at Garden of the Gods, not exactly very well marked once you get away from the visitor's area even a little bit. Also, trails could use lots of tender, loving trail work... lots of blowdowns and bypass trails around them.
Very beautiful area, though!! Loved the rocks. (I am a rock person, while Stikkie is a water person...OH, THE COMPROMISE!! This did have a cute little stream running through it that was crossed a lot.)
I'll have more to say LATER!! Great time with Stikmon, as expected.
And then in Chicago, during my layover time, DISASTER!!
More on that later... (I am such a dork)
Hey, we should do a trip in this area, if Indiana John, bpbaby and that one Mark (Nutzman?? where does he live??) are close..... and I know Chili has expressed an interest in going there. And maybe Big Wave Dave wants to return??”
“...nice report...sounds like you had alot of fun....”
“its not that I didn;t want you around...I didn;t want anyone around. This was a time for us. Sorry...next time, I will open it for a TT trip and gather the wizards of our realm.”
“...but it looks like Khatru is rolling his eyes as Lizs hugs him. LOL”
“he was. To say that he was happy, would be an untruth, but he did warm up to her on the ride home. Last night, when I asked him where Lizs was, he just said "she's not here, she went home, you dope".
“The dog DOESN'T LIKE ME??? HUH??”
“Great shots. Glad you guys had such a great time in my boyhood home (sniff). It's been years since I've been back, I guess I need to visit the ancestral homeland.”
“aww, the dog is jealous!”
“Be very carefull around Khatru.
Biggest mistake a new "friend" can make is to come between a "Boy and His Dog".
Never make Stikmon chose between the two of you.
Remember the Harlan Ellison post-apocalyptic black comedy novella (latter made into a bad mid 70's movie) if you are old enought.
A Boy and His Dog and female lover were starving. She made him chose between she or the dog.
Don't let this happen to you!!!!!!
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.......”
“Aaaaaah... well you just don't know the TRUTH about stikmon.
*hissed under breath with wide eyes*
He's one of them there DOG DANCERS!!!
The horror, the horror!!
he likes you just fine...
“miss paranoia up there. He didn't fall for my taunting him...he knew you weren't there...he saw that there were no panty hose hangin in the bathroom.”
LOL, DOG DANCER
“If it's OK for Hank Hill, it's OK for Stikmon.”
There is a song about that,
“but I can't find it right now.
"The Dog Came First"”
“Dang stik, you took a picture of a woman in the morning and lived to tell the tale.
Must be true love!”
“she chased me down the trail after I took it, I had to wait while she finished BRUSHING her hair!!! It was a big PINK brush too...OMG!!! I was laughing so hard, hot tea came out my nose...
But Lizs is a fun person to be around, and she is NEVER wrong.”
Pink brush, Lizs? LMFAO!!! ;o)
“Sounds like you guys have fun together.”
“Just a hint stik, I didn't live to this ripe age by going around taking pictures of women in the morning right after they got out of the sack. There ain't enough cccccourage in all of Oz for that!”
“OK, more to post to the thread before I do the nasty work I must do today.
Big pink brush?? Mooooooooohahahaha...
The Stikmon musta had a druggie hangover!! I'm sure it was green and had a dragon's head on it, to boot.
Well, all weekend I'm hiking over wet rocks and just feeling kinda unsure cuz my boots are getting old? And I'm prone to sprained ankles? (Had many a good one playing volleyball.) Also I'm using one of Stikmon's great hiking poles, although I'm become pretty used to the security of two trekking poles...
The hike went fine..... HOWEVER...
When I got to Chicago and off the train at 9 a.m., I had 5 hours till my next train. I grabbed a cab to Michigan Avenue/"Magnificent Mile." See Chicago in its Christmas glory, ya know?
$5.30 later I am walking around in howling winds and snow. I step off a curb onto the street to cross and SNAP/CRUNCH/OUCH!! I turn my right ankle good.
After saying "goddamn son of a #&%!$ #&%!$," I hobble around with my throbbing foot. I had my hiking boots on, which helped keep compression on it.
I hobbled and elevatored up to the top floor (8th) of Chicago place, in a food court area... sat, stuck foot up on a chair back and observed the messy weather outside. Took some ibuprofen, too.
It quit hurting so bad after half an hour or so. I got up and decided to go hobble and see the sights.
It was hurting some, but not too bad. I went into the Water Tower/Gallery, Borders, Marshall Fields, etc. But was getting tired (plus had a pizza place to hit downtown by the Sears Tower for lunch).
A woman at Marshall Fields/Water Tower Place told me what bus to catch to get back to Union Station. Only $1.50.
I ate at Giordano's (WONDERFUL DEEP DISH PERSONAL PAN PIZZA........ yum!!) Had a couple beers to get a slight buzz and ease the pain. lol
Kept walking. On the train I took ibuprofen at appropriate times.
Didn't take boot off till very late in day (or early the next). Ankle was swollen, but not black and blue, which amazed me.
It's kinda stiff, but have been easily walking on that foot since.
That leads me to a question and observation. Would you have gone to the dr? I haven't for a long time for sprained ankles (even when I've heard a nasty "crack"... believe me, I had a horrendously bad one, coming down on a teammate's foot in volleyball once.)
I know volleyballers who went to the dr. He put a plastic or inflatible splint on, kept them on crutches for weeks and then, when the cast came off, they had to do rehab.
My theory at this point in time is to keep using that foot, right away, and keep on using it. Keep it limber. I wouldn't go play strenuous sports on my sore ankle/foot right now, but sure am walking, including a little bit of uneven ground.
Whatdaya think? [DISCLAIMER] And **remember, I am NOT a health professional/dr.** Just cuz I recommend this and you screw up your foot/ankle forever, DON'T COME WHINING TO ME!!”
“Make that LEFT ANKLE!
“You might get it x-rayed at least to make sure it's not a serious injury. After the results are in, you can always refuse treatment if you feel you'd rather walk on it.
Rehab is a pain in the arse, but some injuries can be worsened by walking on them, and that would set recovery back even worse.
It's better to find out what you've got and deal with it than try to put it off and learn you've really screwed yourself royally, and not in a fun way.”
“Oh no, nope, can't refuse treatment. You know what Mayo Clinic drs. put on your record when you refuse treatment? Heck, my dr. -- who's a NICE guy and sees right through the Mayo BS -- STILL looks in my record and tells me when I refused to come back in for a lab retesting.
They keep #&%!$ like that on your records, bastards! I'd almost like to go to the other clinic in town... which is much nicer (Gundersen Lutheran, HQ in La Crosse, WI). BUT I like my doc.
My ankle is OK. "Been there; done that." ;-)”
“Yeah, my doctor has been on my arse for over a year to get a cholesterol test. Finally did and she put me on Zocor. Now I have to go in every two months and make sure my liver's not rotting.
I almost have it figured out. At some point in life you have to make up your mind whether you'd rather go of a heart attack or cancer. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer pick!
Sign on to the TT Injured Reserve List and set a spell. Welcome to the gimp club. I hope it heals quickly.”
my girlfriend on the TT injured reserve list...
“did he just call you his girlfriend, lizs?!
“This has been going on for about a month. Where ya been AmyG? Thought the poor boy was gonna swoon hisself to death for awhile there.”
swoon away, stikmon
“hey, I am just remarking on the casual flinging around of the "g" word...that's all.
“Not casual at all. They apparently are an item. I think he covets lizs' pink/yellow/gray mattress thingy. Heck, even Khatru is jealous. Nowslimmer's heart is broken because she done stomped that sucker flat.”
“LMAO!! Thank you for the update, Geobeet.
Ms. AmyG, Geobeet is right. Not just casual flinging. lol.... I mean, just check out our phone bills.
Alas, while he is off TC2-ing this weekend, I'll be cleaning up from broken water pipes at the humble abode. Y'all keep on eye on that crazy wizard and his huge, wooden floored geodesic tent!
Following weekend... long drive to the company Christmas party. "Will the retro '70s dress look ok?" frets lizs.”
“Hey, I dunno. Put it on and let's have a look.”
“Lizs must be in her dressing room trying to get the dress she has not worn since the 70s on.”
“LOL!! Like that would have any way of happening!!!! LMFAO!!!”
How about jeans?
“Is that lizs taking her first hike blindfolded?”
“They were Oreo cookie sunglasses... geez, ya got eyes or what?? haahahhaha
These were the last big-legged pair of jeans I owned. (they really soaked up the morning dew well) (and me?? so SKINNY THEN!!! whoaaaaaaaaaa)
I next moved on to fall of 1977, college and straight-legged Levis.”
“Thanks for sharing your trip report and pictures Stikmon and Liz. They were great.”
“Those bell bottoms are definitely 70s retro! Even in 77!”
typo correction by the editor...
"he was. To say that he was happy, would be an untruth, but he did warm up to her on the ride home. Last night, when I asked him where Lizs was, he just said "she's not here, she went home, you dope".
This should read...
To say that he was UN happy, would be an untruth...
I made a typo and am very sorry...To clarify...
Khatru liked Lizs very much and showed no signs of jealosy or animosity...now me on the other hand, I was extremely jealous of how Lizs showed so much affection towards Khatru, totally ignoring me at times and making me feel like I was the 3rd wheel and in the way...
I guess all she sees in me is my dog...sheesh!!! I've been bested by a 4 footed brownnosefurryfacepoopeatingdryhumpinpissing dog. My life is ruined!!!
It is time to end it all now...Lizs, I will leave you and Khatru to your happy life!!!
So sorry for the error.”
“...stikmon...come now...it's time for your medication...”
“What kind of medication is there for what he has? Plain and simple, that hard-hearted lizs has done pulled out stikmon's heart and stomped that sucker flat! She's as heartless as her alter ego, Svetlina! I could have predicted this. She's a journalist. We're all cynics.”
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