Saturday, July 17, 2010

More Hiking - Chubb Trail

Last night around 10:30 PM my husband asked what our plans were for Saturday. A conversation like this usually occurs on Friday, perhaps Thursday and worse case scenario, Saturday morning.

Of course at 10:30 PM I am usually just thinking about how I'd like to be sleeping.

Seems like Saturdays usually come around so suddenly that I haven't thought much about what to do on that day - unless we already have something scheduled.

The kids will usually ask Saturday morning if we are going to do something "fun".

Around 10:45 PM the hub made a suggestion. "What if we get up at 5:00 AM and take a hike on the Chubb Trail?" The early hour, in part, due to the hot, humid summers up here.

The Chubb Trail is "...the most challenging trail in the St. Louis area. It is a seven-mile dirt and gravel trail between West Tyson County Park and Lone Elk Park (14 miles round-trip). It has very challenging hills and some nice flat stretches. Terrain is rocky and can be muddy long after rains or floods. After those tough climbs you are often rewarded with great views."

Unpaved trails through the woods, happen to be a favorite of our children. Throw in some rockiness and a little danger and they are game!

Personally getting up early for a morning of garage-saling sounds a whole lot more exciting to me...but I'm usually out-numbered. And I know the hike is a good healthy activity for us all.

We had never been on the Chubb Trail before and the online descriptions sounded a little daunting to me - I pictured it to be a whole lot more treacherous than it was. Of course if there had been a recent rain the trail could have been more tricky.

There were a few falls and scrapes for the kids but nothing bad at all.

We only walked about 1/2 of the distance - starting at the Tyson Trailhead and turning around after about 1.5 hrs (total time was about 3 hours with about 30 minutes of that being rest stops).

The first real excitement of the hike came within about 30 minutes when the husband suddenly stopped. Right in the middle of the path was a COPPERHEAD. My first Copperhead siting in "the wild" (though the girl claims she actually saw one at the park with me, in the water, a month or so previously...which I may or may not have seen and which may or may not have been a Copperhead - though the girl with her encyclopedic brain retention of all things "critters" may have correctly identified it).

We gave the snake a "wide berth" (risking poison ivy) and stepped off the trail into the grass, briefly.

The second excitement - at least for the children - was that they spotted close to 20 little toads as we walked along.

The third excitement - at least for the girl - was when dad spotted a teeny, tiny skink which the girl successfully caught. She had been wanting a lizard of any kind for a very long time. He was only an inch or so long...but very sadly - he did not survive the journey home :(

We all enjoyed the Chubb Trail - I especially liked the fact that for the most part we were very shaded by the trees.


CanadianGrandma said...

Just hearing about your trip made me feel tired...I would not be able to make such a trip! Sounded exciting though!

Anonymous said...

It's great that you guys have the interest, energy and stamina to go on those types of hikes.