Today I hiked my favorite place, Pere Marquette. I’ve been trying to get here for two months, but the weather hasn’t been agreeable lately. Pere Marquette is located at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers both of which are flooding due to insane rain levels. We found the back entrance to the state park, as the main entrance is underwater. In fact the trailhead of Goat’s Cliff was under water too. This was the main trail I needed to hike – for the incline work. We took a back trail and aimed for the top. The bugs were beyond insane – but thanks to a likely lethal dose of combining 3 different repellents – we stopped looking like dinner to millions of mosquitoes and buffalo gnats. The day was awesome – we had the entire park to ourselves. 12 miles of intertwining trails – with a few trees to climb over and what we call mud-skiing, we had a blast. I can really tell the strength difference from CrossFit. My pack when fully loaded isn’t heavy anymore. The trees we climbed over were more of a playground challenge than a deterrent. If we came to a fork in the trail and one way was up and one way was down – we went up. We zigzagged all over that park. I love that we’ve reached a point in training that what used to seem laborious – now feels like fun. We’ll be lucky to escape the wet trails without malaria, but I am grateful for the day to play outside.
This picture was taken from McAdams Peak. MS River at top, IL River in middle, All the rest is flooding.