The weather was gorgeous and we had to be outside. Saturday had been crazy, so Sunday was our day. But we had made no plans (not like us at all). We got in the car and started driving towards our usual treks with cameras, packs, and snacks ready for an adventure. Since there are SO many great parks and trails near our home in St Charles County, Missouri, we knew we would come across a good idea quickly.
We had been introduced to The Historic Daniel Boone Home at Lindenwood Park (www.sccmo.org/1701/The-Historic-Daniel-Boone-Home) a couple of times in the last year, but hadn't taken a tour. Thus, we chose that park as our destination. We knew there would be some thing fun to take pictures of at the park. We had no idea that the gardens and prairie restoration would have so many butterflies, bees and other pollinators to target for pictures. It made for a fun morning of watching them gather food. We also enjoyed seeing a couple of deer and a flock of Turkey Vultures. You can see those in this video.
We got so caught up with taking pictures and enjoying the river, that we lost track of time and forgot about scheduling a tour. The park has a Self-guided tour with a booklet. We decided that that was the way to go. Without the guide, we couldn't get into any of the buildings, but we enjoyed our time none-the-less. (And we have a great reason to go back.) You can see pictures from the park in the video below.
Sunday was a great surprise day outside! We will certainly revisit this beautiful and interesting park in St Charles County! Keep on trekking!
When we decided to start the public face of Happy Trails Hiking a year ago, we hadn't really thought about describing why we had chosen to start hiking. "We just like being outside and together." That was our answer to our friends and family when they wanted to know why we spent so much time hiking.
It is our escape from the busy, loud, and crazy world we exist in every day. It is also our research lab, think tank, kitchen table, and place to plan our life. So, hiking isn't an activity that we "do". It has become a place we go to make our life happen.
We have been hiking (and living) together for more than half of our lives. Through Happy Trails Hiking, we are inviting you to come along on our exploration of the world. Please enjoy the pictures and videos of life as we see it.
One year ago, a couple of former colleagues came to visit with me for a fun day in Historic St Charles, Missouri (www.historicstcharles.com/). Little did we know that this would start an adventure to visit every state park in our state and a YouTube channel!
Jennifer, who has challenged herself to get EVERY stamp in the state, still needed to visit Castlewood State Park (mostateparks.com/park/castlewood-state-park) for her stamp, so we decided to meet for a morning hike. It had been quite a while since I had visited Castlewood State Park. It was a great morning for a hike and for animal spotting. Take a look at our adventure. Keep on trekking!
Our first stop on our Spring adventure in March of 2017, was Death Valley National Park. (www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm) We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and got checked in to the Furnace Creek Ranch (now called The Oasis at Death Valley www.oasisatdeathvalley.com/) After we checked out the grounds, restaurants, and the pool, we headed to Zabriskie Point for some views of the badlands at dusk. It was BEAUTIFUL and a great introduction to Death Valley.
On Sunday morning, we had an adventure planned to Scotty's Castle. The castle and grounds were damaged in a flash flood in October of 2015 and has been closed since then. So, when we found out that the Death Valley Natural History Association (dvnha.org/) was offering Restoration Tours, we signed up to get tickets. It was a great tour where we learned quite a bit about flooding in the desert as well as the history of Scotty's Castle.
Early Monday morning, we started our day with a sunrise hike in Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch. This hike was a little over 5 miles. It was stunning! Since we started so early, we had no crowds! Just what we needed.
Our afternoons were spent with short side trips and the swimming pool at the Ranch. Take a look at our overview video for those side trips. Death Valley was a great vacation and nothing like we imagined it to be. We have already planned our second trip to DVNP, so stay tuned! Keep on trekking!
In March, we had a Spring get-away vacation and got to hike in Zion National Park (www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm)
We had a great trip and hiked many miles during our stay. We arrived on a Tuesday and settled in for a great stay at Zion Lodge (www.zionlodge.com/). We decided to not let the time change affect us too much and would get up our normal time (CST) for hikes and sunrises. Our first morning was beautiful on the Canyon Overlook Trail! Check out our time-lapse as well as the hike video!
The rest of our day was spent exploring the park using the Shuttle System. It's free and in March, it wasn't that crowded. (If you go in the Summer, plan to WAIT and be patient.)
While on that tour we stopped at the Temple of Sinawava. It is here that we took the Riverside walk to the "Narrows".
On our second full day in Zion, we hiked the East Rim Trail and added a spur up to Cable Mountain. It was a 17 mile hike. That is our longest hike together (so far) and it was fantastic! We got a ride to the East Entrance from Zion Adventure Company (www.zionadventures.com/) before dawn. That way we could just ride the shuttles back to our car when we were finished with our hike. We used flashlights on the first mile of the hike, so we didn't get to see much of the scenery on that part of the trail. The first part of the trail is very sandy. Kind of like walking on a beach.
Once the sun came up, the scenery was BEAUTIFUL! With all the snow and snowmelt in the area, we had lovely and majestic waterfalls and streams on our trek. It also made for a very muddy trek sometimes.
All in all, this trip to Zion National Park was wonderful! We were relaxed and refreshed when we came home. That's exactly how a vacation is supposed to end. Until next time, keep on trekking!
On June 10, 2017, we participated in a hiking race! It was the first of it's kind in the Missouri State Parks! We hit the Ozark Trail early on Saturday morning with 30 other co-ed teams of two. It was a great time! Check out our footage of prep and from the trail!
Kay and Matt enjoy hiking all over the USA. We have a YouTube Channel to video our adventures, this blog, and we are working on building an app to allow others to go on adventures too.
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