We've decided on a fall trip, and we're going to need to do a longer Day 1 than Boo has ever done before, or that I've done in 1 day since wreaking my back. So, more training. We've added an evening walk with packs once a week, and longer weekend walks. August 29, we walked 4.6 miles along the Illinois River Bluff Trail. We left a car at the end and walked it one way.
The kid's exhausted from school starting (probably growing...), and was a little whiny. She needed lots of snacks, reminders to drink, and distraction. She spent a lot of time fleshing out her gift wish list to us, and it's very interesting that it's changed from "baby dolls and cats" to "camera, bigger water bladder, compass". Like she's getting older.
She still likes to collect things, poke scat, and do the stop/run pace that drives adults nuts.
The trail goes along the hill between the Illinois River valley and the prairie above. So it crosses all the ridges formed by water going from the prairie to the river. We hit 10 ridge tops (we started at the top of 1, and another didn't go very far down before heading back up). So very roughly 1600 feet up and 1800 feet down.
One of the exciting landmarks on this hike is Going Under the Freeway. The trail passes under Rt 6 through a kind of creepy drainage tunnel (it's obviously designed for foot traffic, but ... it's a loooong dark tunnel).
The trail past there is newer, but still really obvious and well signed.
No benches, so we ate lunch on a log. The gravel is still loose enough
we all slipped and fell once, but no blood. Between Mossville Rd and 6, the trail kinds of goes almost straight up and down the hills, but from 6 to Detweiller there are switchbacks!
There is a unisex, single seater restroom at Green Valley Camp. New, clean, flushes and running water, diaper station. The rest of Green Valley Camp is a deserted summer camp, and it's creepy as hell. After that, it's one more ridge to Detweiller, cross one road, and down the hill to the second car.
Though Boo was complaining about every hill, she did say her pack was very light (it was).
How much training do you do with your kid(s)? For yourself?