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