I finished another segment yesterday, in the rain (as shown below). My iPod’s battery was run down so no music on the trail and no photos for this post. Just the trace and I’m lucky to have that as I’ll relate:
The blue trace is the new segment to add to the magenta traces already completed. I started in Malvern Iowa and hiked northwest, about 10.2 miles round trip. I’d planned on starting in the north and hiking south but parking on country road near the trail might have been problematic (mud) in the rain so instead I used the solid parking lot near the trailhead in Malvern. It was a nice hike, amazing to see how huge the plants have gotten since just a few months ago when I started this and everything was winter brown. The rain, at times significant, only made the trail a bit muddy and so it was a nice hike. With everything growing it really is a “green tunnel” for miles and miles. For the first time on this trail I actually show two deer which is the same number of people I saw.
Now as to the fortuity. When I got back to Malvern I stopped for a brief rest at a picnic table near the trailhead. This location is a couple of blocks from “downtown” (of this small town) and near same agri-industrial stuff and neither residential or commercial. So there aren’t many people near that picnic table.
I was later than expected getting back and so wanted to eat in Malvern which means I’d be back home much later than planned and so I was trying to call my wife (who would call rescue if I didn’t make it back) and having trouble with my phone so I just hopped in the car and drove to the restaurant. There I had leisurely dinner and a couple of beers but the phone still didn’t work. On the approximately one hour drive home I stopped several times near towers to call – nothing worked. Finally, literally back in Omaha the phone starts working and it hits me! I forgot to take my handheld GPSr off that picnic table. Panic! I quickly finished my call and reversed on the Interstate to return, about 47 miles away.
I was pissed I’d lost my GPSr and kept speeding a bit to get there, but then kept telling myself the couple of minutes I’d save speeding would be far less than the time I’d waste getting pulled over for speeding so I kept right at the limit watching my ETA countdown on the dashboard GPS.
I figured my odds of finding my GPS (before someone else walked off with it) were pretty good but still it was hours since I’d left it there. Just as I arrived a fellow was climbing in his car parked where I had parked earlier. I urgently halted my car and jumped out and he said to me, “Is this yours?” Viola, my GPS. He told me he’d left a note on the table to call him to get it back, but it was almost dark and I know, had I not seen him in person, I would have not seen the note. So literally, by seconds, I got there in the nick of time or bye-bye GPS.
Not only do I lose a somewhat expensive gadget but then the track I show above would be gone too! Almost worse since replacing the track is another hike rather than just some cash. So I’m very lucky I can make this post.
I have to update some data but I’m now probably about 60% complete on this trail. You can see the three gaps I’ll have to fill in on future hikes and then I only have the southern segment, from Shenendoah Iowa to the Missouri border to complete. Not sure I’ll make all that this spring (already humidity is building up and hiking is getting less pleasant). So maybe not too many more of these posts until the fall.