Friday, July 11, 2008

Birthday Adventures

First of all, as some of you already know, in a couple of weeks, I will be getting a new kitten from my good friend, Rebecca, who lives in Iowa. She has sent me pictures of this adorable gray and white kitten, but sadly, the pictures have yet to inspire any good ideas for names. So I am soliciting your assistance. While the romantic in me likes the dramatic, beautiful names, I will concede that I now generally prefer Beckie's idea of choosing a comical or ironic name. So, whatever you come up with, please comment on this post (or e-mail me) with your name ideas (oh, the kitten, she believes, is a female kitten...)

Anyway, I know that many of you might not consider this to be an ideal way to spend a birthday, but I have never been to Turkey Run State Park. Having heard about how beautiful it is, and having practically the whole day free, I decided that I wanted to spend my birthday exploring a part of Turkey Run.

Yes, my friends, I spent my birthday hiking. And what an adventure it turned out to be. The trail Juli and I took (classified as "moderate/rugged") happened to be blocked by a tree! As we walked along the trail, occasionally hampered a little by muddy and marshy spots, we came to a point where the trail seemed to just end. We could not tell where it was supposed to go. At first we thought we just took a wrong turn. Nope. As we soon discovered, the trail had been blocked by several trees (and one big one in particular) that most likely had been blown over by the severe storms that have hit Indiana over the past month. Not to be deterred, we crawled over and under the limbs and trunks until we found the trail again... Despite the temporary mishap/setback, though, we enjoyed an absolutely lovely hike (and even managed to have absolutely lovely weather) in an absolutely lovely state park... well, see for yourself:

Hacking through the fallen brush:

The Bridges of Parke County (where Turkey Run is located):

Some of the scenery and wildlife of the park (including a tiny toad, and then an even tinier one!):

Here's a really cool moss-covered cliff:

An impressively deep, tree-lined ravine:

The tiny toad:

the tinier toad (though it's hard to tell because it's a close-up shot):

and the Lusk mansion (supposedly open for seasonal tours- it looks like those tours might actually be haunted mansion tours, with all the dirt and cobwebs hanging everywhere on the outside...):

So there's my birthday in a nutshell of photos!
(look for my google tag -or Gag, as Steven calls it- soon!)


Julina said...

Admit it - you were wanting to see what the woods would have been like for the first explorers, and that tree gave you your big chance - a birthday wish come true (and without having to blow out any candles, either).

You forgot to mention the weather was about perfect, and the floaters/canoers (sp?) on the creek weren't even that disruptive. Also, you couldn't get pictures, but we got to see a crazy spindly-legged spider, birds with mud nests under the bridges, and super fast little snakes that skeedadled (sp?) before we could do more than register their existence - so they weren't scary, mom, promise...

Anyway - thanks for the great birthday outing - thanks for letting me tag along :-)

And next week - Dark Knight in IMAX! I'm getting excited (Ok, *more* excited)

Love you-

Beckie said...

Sounds like a great birthday. I mean, without all the walking and stuff...just kidding. The pictures really sell it. I want to go floating there instead of hiking, so lets make that happen in the future.

Happy birthday again...

emily said...

AWESOME that you included photos!! I love it! It looks like it was a PERFECT day...

And for the kitten.... Hm.... Killer?

I dunno.

Steven said...

I like Killer, though with my current mindset, I'd probably name her Joker.

I'm glad you had funsies on your b-day! Can't wait to see you next week!

gd said...

What a gorgeous day that looks to be! I am sun-phobic (and...yeah, okay, walk-phobic), so I'm more in love with the *idea* of a birthday-hike in July than *actually* doing it. I love the bridge sign the most.

I like Em's thought process on the name. I'd go more mythical, with Thor or Hercules. I know, they're not girly. But there aren't any ironic girl names. Well, maybe old-lady Inez or Ethel or Pearl or Mildred...ooh, I just heard an awful one...MURTH! We have some friends who named their dachshund Lloyd--it cracks me up.


Tamara said...

Happy Belated one!

A few things:

- Glad you enjoyed the hike, but even gladder that I wasn't hiking w/ you (I loathe hikes)

- I like Em's name (killer) although Genny's idea of old lady names is a hoot (Ilona, Iola, Granny?, Gertrude, Tinker(bell), Anastasia, Bertha, Betty, BEULA, Agnes, etc)--let me know if you'd like me to continue the list!

- when you comin home? we need to host a game night @ our place!

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

Kirsten suggests "Agadore Sparticus" for your kitten. Get it?