Dogged hikers survive hot and muggy conditions

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Russ Helwig | September 10, 2013

Last week brought hot and muggy hiking conditions with heat advisories. Tuesday was the warmest day, in the low 90s, and the three of us who hiked went to the Nordic Trails to walk the 3.25-mile white trail. This trail is a relatively flat. That along with a gentle breeze and shade made the hike tolerable.

We rested part way on a bench by some sumac, which was showing a bit of red fall color. At a couple other places we stopped to taste some tart wild grapes.

After the leisurely walk in hot muggy weather we were wet with sweat and relaxed a bit while sipping some water before leaving for home.

I had received a call from Ellen Davis before our walk asking if I could walk with the short-distance hikers because the heat would be too much for her. I was glad to oblige. A cold front had gone through, but it was still warm and muggy and only about 10 degrees cooler than the day before.

We decided to hike from our meeting place around Lake LaGrange with Jake Gerlach in the lead. I was the sweep and hiked most of the way with Don Howell, who had just finished biking at the John Muir trails and came to our hikes to cool down and relax using different muscles.

We sampled chokecherries along the way and I identified several plants for Don.

At the far end of the lake we hiked along the edge of the lake to the point with a great view of the lake. Ruth McCann's yellow lab jumped into the water at the first opportunity and soaked up as much of the water as it could to cool down. The dog was happy the rest of the walk as the water evaporating from its long coat helped to keep it cool.

It was a nice hike with beautiful prairie and lake near much of the path.

In the meantime Norwin Watson took a contingency of more ambitious hikers to the Nordic Trails to hike about six miles of blue and green ski trails. We were leaving as they arrived at the LaGrange General Store dripping wet.

          Happy trekking, Russ

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