Running out of a jam on a family hike

Going for a little hike at Turkey Run before dinner ... little realizing we'd wind up getting lost.

The kids explore on a little hike at Turkey Run before dinner … little realizing we’d wind up getting lost.

I’d wanted to get in a run during our whirlwhind weekend at Turkey Run State Park, but this wasn’t what I had in mind: Jogging down the highway in jeans and Crocs, fetching the van to go “rescue” Bob and the girls after we’d gotten lost on what was intended to be a short sightseeing jaunt before dinner.

“This would be kind of cool if I wasn’t wearing my high tops,” noted Ben as we jogged over a spectacular (for Indiana) deep ravine.

Not sure what I was thinking wearing those crocs. We had to cross a creek or two even before we got lost.

Not sure what I was thinking wearing those crocs. We had to cross a creek or two even before we got lost.

We didn’t really have very far to go. We’d emerged from the woods at what we thought was the road to the Turkey Run Inn, but turned out to be a campground at a completely different park entrance. The kids, who were ready to storm the dining room even before we left, were demoralized at the prospect of having to retrace our steps through the scenic but mucky  terrain — especially Colleen, who’d been sick the last couple of days.

Looking over the map posted at the campground, we estimated it was only about a mile from this park entrance to the next, if we went along the road. We decided the fastest way to get out of our mini-quandary would be for Ben and I to jog back to retrieve the van.

This wasn’t the first time I’d gone jogging in Crocs. Back when I started running again in 2010, influenced by Christopher McPherson’s natural running manifesto Born to Run – and aggravated by the crappiness of my cheap shoes – I’d tried running in Crocs as a sort of pseudo “barefoot” experience.

Of course, back then I wasn’t trying to keep up with Ben. Instead of focusing on “running free,” I was mainly trying to avoid losing my footwear. I managed to keep my Crocs in the general vicinity of my feet, but I picked up a bunch of pebbles along the way.

The park attendant eyed us with amusement as we approached the gate. She didn’t recall selling us a park pass a couple of hours earlier, but she took our word for it and waved us on through. We jogged along the park road to the Inn, picked up the van, and drove back to the campground where we left the rest of the family.

Naturally they were nowhere to be seen. Thank goodness for cell phones. It turned out they’d crossed the road to buy drinks at a strategically located  convenience store.

a rare picture of Bob and I in the same frame. (Usually he's behind the camera).

A rare picture of Bob and I in the same frame. (Usually he’s behind the camera).

“Wow,” said Bob as they emerged. “You guys got back here fast. Five minutes ahead of the earliest time anybody selected in the pool we set up.”

Sounds like somebody’s been a little too caught up in March Madness. And for once, it wasn’t me.

As it turned out, I never did get into my running shoes on this trip. When we woke up Sunday morning the first snow of this freak spring storm was already starting to fall. We decided to head back before we got snowed in.

Naturally when we arrived home midday, there was no snow at all on the ground. We’d been home about 5 minutes when I got a text that Grandma Annie-Bananie had had another stroke. We wanted to get Rowan back to school, but she and I decided to go see Grandma first.

We we were glad we did: Just in the time we were there, it seemed like we could see Annie-Bananie starting to recover. Her eyes were focusing better,  she said both our names, and was starting to answer simple questions.

I have a feeling her day got even better after that, when Brent stopped by with Baby Kyla. If there’s any better medicine for a 100-year-old than to snuggle up against brand new baby skin, I don’t know what it is.

These two lovely ladies were both born in '12 -- Annie-Bananie in 1912 and Kyla in 2012.

These two lovely ladies were both born in ’12 — Annie-Bananie in 1912 and Kyla in 2012.

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3 Responses to Running out of a jam on a family hike

  1. When I saw the photo, I would have said Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.

    • tischcaylor says:

      Was that the one in the JG recently? Don’t think I’d heard of it before then, but looks like an interesting place.

      • We camped at Hocking Hills State Park in August 2011. Great hiking, but the park is in sections and driving from section to section is required, though the Buckeye trail goes through the park.

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