I’ve been so busy lately that I just haven’t had the chance to update. This means I’m horribly backlogged on posts, because we haven’t stopped camping or hiking! In the meantime, let me share my latest adventure to Turkey Run State Park.

Turkey Run has been one of our favorite hiking areas, but this time we had the pleasure of joining our meetup group.

We were a little late, so showed up after dark. Let me tell you, setting up hammocks in the dark is no easy feat! After getting settled, we joined the group for late night snacks and good conversation before heading to bed.

After a lovely breakfast the next morning, we hit the trails. Unfortunately, after the spring flooding this year, the main suspension bridge across the river had been badly damaged. While it was largely complete – it hadn’t been opened to the public, so we had to walk an additional 2 miles to get to our desired destination.

Of course, this is no real hardship as the landscape here is second to none. Its just gorgeous – and with such good company, extra travel is a treat.

Once you find the sandstone gorges, the temperature drops at least 5 degrees. After hiking up and down steep climbs (and stairs!), its a blessing.

The landscape is so varied for such a small space – deep woods, sandy river shores, and then these prehistoric looking canyons. I always feel like one of the original explorers as I head into a stream bed to find whats around the corner.

The park staff love to keep things interesting. See those stairs carved into the stone? While they weren’t necessary during our trip, I’m told that the stream can be both deep and fast in the spring time – and those stairs are required travel.

After the challenge of the 140 stairs, we had ladders before us! Three sets of steep ladders bolted to the stone. I’m sure they’re not so bad going up, but its always nerve wracking going down.

We saw loads of flora and fauna out there. The turkey vultures soaring above us are a fixture of the area and we were delighted to find the millipede, caterpillars, spiders and more.

When wood stairs and stone stairs become to mundane, there are always tree roots to climb on!

In the end, walking the additional 2 miles to get back to camp was more than anyone wanted to tackle, so that meant fording the river back to the other side. The water was cold, which was a welcome respite to our hot and buzzing feet.

We returned to camp, retrieved some refreshments, made dinner (to include jambalaya and corn bread!) and spent the night tell stories about ourselves. It was an incredible way to get to know one another better, and we laughed until the wee hours.

The next morning, we had planned to hike nearby Shades Park, but the rain started and we decided to call it a day. We all enjoyed a hearty breakfast at a local diner and then parted ways and headed home.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL6aSxrYuNU?rel=0&w=550&h=413]