Not Raining!!!

It is NOT Raining this morning! WooHoo! It is a gorgeous day, started out sunny and cool with an absolutely delicious breeze blowing in off the lake. I spent a little time in the man-cave after making a pot of coffee, just waiting for The Mrs to get up.  She was up late, having gone to see Hairspray at The Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, IL. I opted to stay home for 2 reasons: 1) I have already seen the play, and B) I wanted to be in bed asleep by 9:30 pm…. Anyway, when I heard The Mrs stirring and making tea I wandered upstairs and asked if she wanted to go out on her boat this morning.  We were supposed to go walking, but the balls of my feet are still quite sore from our walk yesterday, so I suggested a day off.

To The Pontoon!

Gs Pontoon 2We had launched The Mrs’ pontoon a couple months ago, but after maybe 4 spins around the lake, it would overheat after a couple minutes of operation. We were going to pull it from the lake to take to our boat mechanic a couple weeks ago…. I motored it over to the Lindsey Bridge sailboat ramp while TM drove over with the trailer. She pulled onto the ramp about the same time I was drifting towards the dock (I would shut motor off and drift when the overheating alarm would activate), and jumped out of the van to come help me tie up to the dock. As we were just starting to tie the bow of the pontoon to the dock, we heard the strangest crunching noise… the trailer and the van had started to back down the ramp, but fortunately, the trailer jack-knifed and the van stopped (the van apparently did not go into “park” properly). No way to use the trailer so the pontoon stayed on the water.

Pontoon Trailer 2Finally our mechanic came out with his pontoon trailer a couple days ago, fixed the motor (bad impeller) in a day, and brought it back out day before yesterday. So all was set for us to go out on the water this morning! Beautiful day!!!

Lindsey Bridge
Vachel Lindsay Bridge

G 3 G 1

We only had about an hour to spend on the water before she had to leave for a workout class… ah well. This gave me the time to make this quick posting before I head back outside to do SOMETHING constructive.

Blue Skies again!
Blue Skies again!
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Lost Bridge Trail

We were planning to take this walk yesterday, rain was forecast… but we had thunderstorms and walking with the threat of lightening is not on my fun list. Today, however…. RAIN, but no t-storms….PERFECT. We have wanted to hike in the rain with our Frogg Togg rain suits, our new “waterproof” hiking boots, with our hiking packs encased in their rain suits. All so we could find any weaknesses in our rain preparations before our Wales trip. Our experiences in Great Britain are: if you are there for more than a couple hours, it is going to rain!

So we got geared up as the rain was falling steadily this morning (I slept in – got up at 6 am. The rain started about 6:30.) We drove over to the Lost Bridge Trail behind the DOT complex. And with a very steady and fairly strong rainfall to envelope us, we started walking.

010The LBT is an old rail-2-trail path that runs parallel to IL Rte 29 between Springfield and Rochester. We decided we would walk for an hour south towards Rochester then back because The Mrs had to work in the afternoon. We weren’t that focused on the distance as we were on spending time in the rain. So with 72 degrees F and a constant rain we moved along at The Mrs’ pace. We arrived at the the Tunnel that passes under Hilltop Road and had a water and snack break in the tunnel, out of the rain…

Hilltop Rd Tunnel
Hilltop Rd Tunnel

The Mrs happy and dry!

The Mrs in rain gear
The Mrs in rain gear

and me in my dry wet weather gear…The Mr

The Mr

We made good time as we walked, turning around at our 1 hour mark and headed back. The rain eased up a bit and we dropped our hoods for a while. We stopped at one point to admire how much rain water was flooding fields and what was normally grassy areas…

Lotsa water
Lotsa water

The banks of  Sugar Creek were flooded and the water was moving along rapidly in what is normally a lazy flowing little waterway.

Lost Bridge
Sugar Creek Bridge

We made really good time on return walk, and were back to the van at the 1 hour 44 minute mark. Total distance walked was 6.47 miles.  And best part of all… Boots – DRY inside. Rain suits – Waterproof (although not very breathable, so we did sweat a fair amount). Packs with rain covers -DRY.  We might consider GoreTex rain gear, but then, I don’t believe it will be this warm (mid to upper 70s) in the rain in Wales, so that may not be a major consideration.  (Time to email Yoda… er, I mean Charles!)

We might try this trail again in a few days if we can get a sunny day, and walk the entire 12+ miles just to get the distance under our belts. Our first day hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Trail will be a 12 mile (or maybe 14?) day. And as our terrain dries up around here, we’ll start adding more hills to the mix.

Summer!!!

To commemorate the first day of Summer 2015, I got up about 5 am, checked the weather, closed all the windows in the house because of the 88% humidity, turned on the A/C, then geared up for a quick run.  Well, not as quick as it use to be! I ran the perimeter of the soccer fields at UIS, and total mileage from our driveway out and back is just at 2.5 miles. In 27:25 mins/secs.    Temperature hovering about 74F/23C.  It was moderately cool still in the shade, but when I got out into the sun, it was quite warm. And steamy.  When I got back home the sweat was dripping off me as if I had just stepped out of the shower. Whew!

Walking back in the house felt like stepping into a walk-in beer cooler! Quite refreshing.  So I drank a bunch of water and some electrolyte fluid (the Blue flavor) and let my body cool for a bit. Once the sweat stopped pouring out of me, I did a 20 minute “High Intensity Interval Challenge Workout” that I started 2 weeks ago.  All this helps me with my old man early afternoon nap-times…. 🙂

And summer wouldn’t be summer if I didn’t have to then mow the lawn! Although the riding mower stopped cutting after I finished up with the back yard…. Darn! Too danged hot at that point to try to fix it! So back inside for a cool shower and some quality time with “Plants vs. Zombies”…  If only the sailboat were on the water….

Tracking

I started using MapMyRuns last year to track my runs & walks at the suggestion of The Mrs.  Of late, I have been playing with various functions of the program, mostly dealing with accurizing my time & distance calculations.  One thing I like alot is the Monthly Overview, so I can see at a glance my activity for the month. Makes me feel like I am being really active and good!

June 15, 2015   Walking The Illinois State Fairgrounds and Lincoln Park

We started this walk from the Fairgrounds Parking Lot near the Dept of Agriculture Headquarters. We meandered north across the Fairgrounds and then turned east and walked through the campground area. After leaving the Fairgrounds we headed to nearby Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park BridgeThis little bridge has “LINCOLN PARK” embedded on the two main posts with the little pyramid caps on them. We wandered all over the park, ended up following trails neither of us had ever explored before. Not being a native Springfieldian, I never spent much time in Lincoln Park before…

We sat on a nice shady bench and had a snack, then followed a small path that lead us to a neat little cement stairway into the woods….

Stairway to the woods...We found the park delightful and rewarding as we meandered, adding miles to our day’s tally.  It was also a big day because The Mrs wore her new hiking BOOTS and SmartWool socks. I enlisted the persuasion of our  Hiking Mentor, Charles Hawes, to encourage her to go the boot route versus the “hiking shoe” option. Being an ancient Boy Scout, I’ve worn hiking boots for hiking since I was 8 years old, everywhere from northern Illinois and Wisconsin, to Philmont, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, through the Colorado Rockies…. I include this photo for Charles.

Taking a break
Taking a break

We headed back to the Fairgrounds, and walked back past the Coliseum and the horse barns area, which was the majority of my patrol area when I worked the State Fair for a number of years in the ’80s.  I love the smell of the horse barns!  Well, after all our tromping around fairly aimlessly all morning, me tallied up 7.5 miles total.  Nice !

Lincoln Park fountain

Hiking, sailing

Sunrise early June 2015
Sunrise early June 2015

I will load my current hiking statistics shortly. Suffice it to say, we are preparing (training even) for our upcoming Fall Hiking Adventure in Wales & Ireland.

I will update my sailboat progress soon. I am still waiting for a non-rainy day to complete the refitting task on the O’Day 22 so I can launch her. The Hilu is lakeside and ready to be rigged at a moment’s notice if the rain would ease during the week. Much too busy with powerboats operated by non-yielding beer intake factories on this side of the lake on the weekend.

Hilu on Lake Springfield
Hilu on Lake Springfield
Miss Mollie 2014
Miss Mollie 2014