Friday, May 8, 2015

April Recap + New Adventures

With our long adventure at Presque Isle last week and Soth's adoption anniversary, we didn't have time for an April Resolution Recap. When I totaled our mileage for the month and compared it to last year's, I was ecstatic. In April 2014, we walked 95.43 miles. This year, we got 123.6 miles in April. We're 74.8 miles ahead of where we were at the end of April last year. At the end of last week, we'd achieved 30% of our goal, which is pretty darn close to the 33% we were shooting for. In no time, we'll be ahead of schedule.

This week, I was afraid we'd have trouble meeting our 3.1 mile/day goal because it's finals week and the weather has been questionable. Finals week is usually a good week for walking because I only have to go to campus for about 8 hours to collect final papers and then I can bring them all home to grade, so we can get lots of short walks in when I need a break. But this week we went straight from winter to summer. There's been 80 degree days and lots of rain, so the times that were good for walking haven't necessarily matched up with the times that I was home.

On Wednesday, I didn't have any finals to collect, so I got up and went straight to the couch with my coffee and a stack of papers to power through some grading. Barley was the best girl and didn't chase her brother or try to eat his food or  snack out of the litterbox. She let me get two full classes finished before lunch, so we celebrated in the afternoon by checking out a new park.

Hogback Ridge Metropark is one of the parks in the next county over and it's split in two by the Grand River with no way to get from one side of the park to the other unless you want to swim (which we don't). We'd been to the south side once, but weren't impressed. The trail is only .6-miles long with a steep staircase in part of it. It's also not a park that a lot of people visit, so people ignore the leash laws and Barley and I avoid parks where that's common. But the north side of the park is only a few minutes farther away than the state park and the trail map says there's a 2+ mile bike trail, so Barley and I decided to check it out for a change of scenery since we didn't have time to adventure to our favorite places.

Big smiles for exploring new places.

The trail was nice and I think it will be really shady when the trees all have their leaves back, but we definitely didn't see 2+ miles of trail. It was about .75 miles down to the river and then the trail sort of disappeared. There was a sign at the parking lot saying the trail had been damaged, so maybe part of it got washed away, but we just went down to the river and back up with a couple detours on some trails that went into the woods--but I wasn't in the mood to get muddy, so we didn't explore those much.

Maybe there used to be 2+ miles? 

The covered bridge park in our town is just a few miles away from the new trail and we hadn't been there since last summer (there's not much trail and usually there are a lot of kids splashing in the river), so we stopped to get in one extra mile on our way home.


I had a morning final exam period on Thursday, so I planned to take Barley to the Arboretum for our grading break on Thursday afternoon. When I left work, my car thermometer said it was 58 degrees out and I had been a little chilly on the walk across campus without a light jacket (this is what being close to the lake does to temperatures!). By the time I got home, the thermometer read 70 degrees. I tossed on shorts and after lunch Barley and I headed out to the Arboretum.

When we got there, it was up to 80 degrees and not a breeze to be found, so we headed towards the rhododendron garden in hopes of finding some shade.

We stopped by a wilting magnolia hybrid on the way.

For a place that had a lot of trees, we had trouble finding benches in the shade for our water breaks!

Barley thought this might be good shade cover.

This was labeled a smiling rhododendron, so Barley had to pose with it.

We stopped pretty much every half mile for a water break and it took us a full hour to walk 2 miles! When Barley decided to crawl under a bench, I decided it was time to start heading back to the car.

Barley found a friend.

We passed through the crabapple collection on the way back to the car and everything was lovely and pink.




Barley was more than happy to stop to smell the flowers on such a hot day.

Despite the heat, the rain, and the weird schedule, we still ended up with 30.25 miles this week, which was a pleasant surprise when I ran the Garmin report last night!

Soth got a few outdoor adventures when I needed grading breaks, too.

I have 1.5 classes left to finish final grades for and then Barley, Soth, and I are officially on summer vacation!


23 comments:

  1. How nice to have summer vacation coming up! Looks like you got in some nice walks to some fun and pretty spots! Thanks for joining the hop and keep on racking up the mileage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Summer vacation is lovely. I don't know how other people work year round--teaching definitely has its perks :)

      Delete
  2. Your arboretum is gorgeous! Do you and Barley have any summer plans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The arboretum is Barley's most favorite place--there are 20 miles of trails and so many different plants that each visit seems like a new adventure. No super big plans for the summer--a trip south to visit my parents and some college friends, Barley's first stay at a boarder (who also happens to be our favorite trainer) while I go to my grandparents' 60th anniversary, and hopefully checking out a few parks we haven't been to before along with our usual favorites.

      Delete
  3. Going for a walk and/or hike with our four legged besties truly is the best break from our human work! Bummer your trail wasn't really walkable...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think more of it would have been walkable if I hadn't been feeling prissy, but I just wasn't ready to deal with mud to check out the other direction from the parking lot ;) I'm hoping they repair whatever part was damaged, though!

      Delete
  4. Barley is so cute!! Happy Gotcha Day to Soth and congrats on your mileage! That's awesome! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barley's definitely a goober--she never fails to make me laugh when we're out adventuring.

      Delete
  5. Both the metropark and arboretum look like beautiful places for a walk. I love pictures with dogs and flowers and Barley's pics are just gorgeous. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We feel so lucky to live in a place with so many pretty places to walk--we've got ponds, rivers, and Lake Erie all within a short car ride :) Thank you!

      Delete
  6. Wow - you're almost a month ahead of yourself! Great work. The spring flowers look so pretty - thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adding 30 miles to our total from last year isn't seeming so crazy anymore :) It certainly is nice to see signs of spring again.

      Delete
  7. Yay for summer vacation! Congratulations on such a successful April! You have such a great variety of places to walk and it's really looking beautiful there with all of the flowers and flowering trees.
    We've had unusually warm weather this week too, but no rain here (which we now oddly need...very unusual in the spring!).
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping that the weather forecast is right and the temperatures go back down to the 60s next week and Barley thinks it's better walking temperatures than 80s :) We really do have great parks to walk in--I can't imagine living anywhere else!

      Delete
  8. Woohoo summer! Great pictures! And another woohoo for meeting goals! Now you know how my daily life is haha! Pretty sure it always takes us an hour to walk two miles :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and Maddux come visit NOW and we can actually have the cousins walk at similar paces ;)

      Delete
  9. What lovely photos!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Barley is a little diva when she sees me pulling out the camera :)

      Delete
  10. What lovely photos!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

    ReplyDelete
  11. This time of the year without any leaves on the trees for shade it can seem warmer than normal. We went to the park yesterday and it started out cloudy, but cleared as soon as we pulled in and no shade to be found. I guess we are still in winter mode...lol. The dogs were dying! I am impressed that you are so far ahead of last year with the horrid February we had!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how it always works for us, too! It's coolish when we leave the house and by the time we get to the park it's either really warm or raining! Barley's still mourning the loss of her snow, too, I think--but I've been frolicking in the sunshine!

      Delete
  12. What pretty walks you have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I think Ohio is totally underrated--we love having Lake Erie and the Holden Arboretum so close by with lots of smaller parks in between :)

      Delete