Monday, July 28, 2008

Parvin State Park

After breakfast yesterday Mike and I decided to head out to Parvin State Park figuring we'd get a few nice hours in before the severe storms headed our way blackened the skies. We mapquested the park and headed out and I was pleasantly surprised just how nice it was for it being a mere 35 minutes away.

The main parking lot is across the street from the lake entrance - a lovely large lake with kayak and canoe rentals for only $18, as well as a lifeguard and beach house for an entrance fee of only $2. It wasn't crowded despite it being a hot and sunny Sunday in July. Too bad we weren't there to lay out. We got a map and asked the teen aged money collector where we could go fishing. She recommended we drive to a lot farther down the road but when I asked her if we could walk she said we could. A measly half mile later we came to a little floating dock and Mike set up camp. I looked over my map and decided on the 3.1 mile lake trail which would loop me around the entire lake. I said bye to Mike and was off.

I enjoyed the hike to a degree but was nervous probably 70% of the time because I was all alone on the trail. Although the trail circled the lake, in parts it was set far back from the lake with only a narrow dirt trail running through thick dense (in parts overgrown) woods. My imagination runs wild and I confess I didn't have as much fun as I would have liked. In fact, I jogged quite a bit and looked over my shoulder a lot. I was amazed I was the only one out there.

However, I'd like to add that there were a few times when the sun was shining very bright but a cool summer breeze drifted overhead, and the sounds of cicadas picked up and the leaves rustled in the trees and it was in those moments my fear melted away and I felt glad to be alive. Overall, it was rather lovely.

I made it back to Mike and thunder soon started roaring in the distance so we packed up and made it back to the car only moments before the rain.

I'm so glad we went out there and I now know of an excellent spot a half an hour away. The trail had zero degree of difficulty so my going out there alone is no problem and I'd like to go out there Saturday mornings when I have no plans and Mike is working, but I will be afraid every time. Next time I'll bring my little pepper spray and try to remind myself that I'm probably more safe alone in the woods than out in the open with strangers.

1 comment:

Doug Walsh said...

Sounds like a nice place. I think everyone who spends their lives in an urban setting gets a bit uncomfortable in the woods their first few times. You'll get over it. Just don't let it go scare you away. Be aware, but don't be afraid

And remember that the stories people will tell you as "reasons" why you shouldn't do this alone are just sensationalized stories people with no real first-hand knowledge tell others to convince themselves that their in the right for staying home. It's the sme with travel -- the people who are quickest to tell you a place isn't safe to go are the very same people who have never even looked at State Department travel advisory or who have never left the borders without the safety of a multi-national planning their every day.