Now, I love both my husband and my job and hope to keep both for a VERY long time. However, this post reminded me of my love for the outdoors and also for a challenge I've had on the back burner for a while.
We are blessed in Lancaster Co., PA to have a wonderful organization called the Lancaster County Conservancy. Our family has hiked on some of their land over the past several years. The views are always beautiful. I have always hoped to someday visit each of the Conservancy Preserves.
So this morning, after looking at the gorgeous photographs of Oregon, Canada and Alaska, I determined that I could get my little Ford Escort to the far reaches of Lancaster County after work.
Today I visited Rannel's Kettle Run Nature Preserve. I left work later than I intended (that ALWAYS seems to happen) but I still had time for the drive north past Brickerville. It was a beautiful day today.
I found the preserve, changed from my sneakers into my hiking boots (yes, I sometimes wear sneakers to work!) grabbed my camera and crossed over to the trail head. The horseshoe trail circles the Conservancy Preserve. I walked only a few feet into the trail when I saw the sign: "Beware of the Bear." Ok, on the drive up it occurred to me that I don't usually hike alone. It occurred to me that I was off the beaten path and that there might be strangers on the trail. It did NOT occur to me that there could be BEARS on the trail.
After I saw the sign I did wonder if there actually was a bear. It crossed my mind that the owners of the land skirting both sides of the trail might not love people near their land. It was POSSIBLE that the sign was a hoax. On the other hand......
Well, I decided to be brave and continue on. The hike is a nice one. Not too easy but not horrible. It ascends quite a bit and is very rocky. I kept a good lookout for the bear, scaring myself with every sound I heard and every large tree stump I saw out of my peripheral vision!
I have to admit that I scared myself out of the whole hike. I feel a bit wimpy about that but convinced myself that it would be past 6 p.m. when I got back home and I did have CHILDREN at home waiting for me. (Disclaimer: my "kids" are almost adults and can totally take care of themselves.) Maybe they needed help with homework. Maybe.
If you are a Lancaster County or nearby neighbor, I highly recommend this hike at Rannel's Kettle Run Nature Preserve. Just watch out for the bear.