Our first stop on Saturday was the dentist, and after visiting with Grandma Smith, we went over to a southwest side hike that we've done before. It's short, but I figured we could get it in before lunch and then do the big hike after that.
The hike was totally different the second time around: this time there were tons of leaves and wildflowers to see, and it was actually easier to see the paths with the contrast between the green leaves and the brown trail.
We also saw a woodpecker! Video goodness:
The purple wildflowers were everywhere, and it was the best wildflower walk we've done this spring.
On the way up to our big hike, we stopped for lunch at BallyDoyle's, an Irish pub in Downers Grove. We each tried a new beer - Dave had Turbodog dark brown ale (very smoky) and I had Goose Island Fleur (flowery and sweet). Plus we got to eat burgers and fries without guilt. Dave got a truly frightening burger - the Irishman - which was topped with cream cheese and a fried egg. Mine was the incinerator burger, which was topped with pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo, fried jalapenos, and "incinerator sauce," which I think is a puree of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with sriracha sauce.
And then, because we were burning off so many calories with the walking, we even went for dessert. Don't ask me how we did it after those burgers, but somehow we were still hungry enough to eat this:
These are large profiteroles, which are pastry puffs with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Fantastic.
After this extreme caloric intake, we went up to the Waterfall Glen hike around Argonne Laboratory. It's a 10-mile hike that includes foliage, wildflowers, a small waterfall, and some building ruins.
The first few miles of the hike were nice, but honestly, the mist was getting to us around mile 3. It fogged up our glasses and was generally annoying.
The waterfall was small, but it was nice to sit around for a minute to take a rest.
We kept going around and around, and it felt like the walk would never end, especially since we had already done about 5 miles in the morning.
Here's a little deer friend we met along our journey, inside the Argonne fence!
Once we finished the hike, we went directly to Woodfield Mall to finish the remaining 7 miles. That meant about six loops around the top and bottom floors. It was hard to walk among all the people at first, but as closing time approached, it got much easier.
We limped home and hung out with the bunny for a bit, but at that point it was about 9 p.m. That meant we spent almost all day walking. Then after breakfast this morning, we did 7 miles (toward our 10 today) because I have a bridal shower this afternoon and some baking to do tonight.
Walking, walking, walking. I feel like I'll have so much more free time over the weekend when this walk stops! But the next two weekends of training are very small, only 10 and 5, and then 5 and 3. That seems like so little now!
I am about $200 away from my fundraising minimum, and Dave is more (not clear how much more, because we have some offline donations to turn in). I will be so relieved to reach my goal!