another group of shots from my recently shelley lake adventures. it was an overcast kind of white-out day when there’s very little if any blue in the sky. i loved this little bench on a hill all by itself.
i walked around the park in unbearable heat on the only day in the past month and a half that it hasn’t rained. and believe me, i was saying every rain prayer i could think of and doing all of the rain dances that i could muster up the energy to do. i am not a big person – standing at 4’11 and weighing less than most full grown dogs i know, i am not the type of person to really work up a sweat no matter how hot it is. sure, if i play tennis for an hour or two i will. but i can be hanging around in the heat, walking, doing whatever, and still be relatively free of claminess. let me tell you folks, walking around that lake was an exercise in hydration survival.
i went there on a very brief mission to find a few good shooting spots. so i started walking on the path… la la la… and before i knew i had walked to the middle of the lake. for those of you who aren’t familiar with shelley lake, you get up to it by walking up a hill that overlooks a large lake. you obviously conclude: “this path must loop around the lake.” so once i saw that i had reached the point in the path that coincided with the middle of the lake i thought, “yes!…just a little bit further now, louis!” and yes, it was kind of like that point in pet semetary when louis and jud walk, like, 2000 miles and jud keeps saying it’s not much further.
so at this point i had been at the park for about 10 minutes. then i realized that the path went past the lake. “oh okay,” i thought. “this just must swing a little bit around the lake. not bad, not bad.” how bad could it possibly be, right? surely this couldn’t go much past the lake. and it seemed like it would be faster to continue walking this way and loop around than it would be to turn back.
of course i was sorely mistaken and on this 100 degree day in unspeakable humidity with no water i was the sweatiest i have ever been. disgusting.
at this point i started to see mile markers… and that is a terrible sign for someone who believes this path to be a short jaunt around the lake. in fact, it’s one of the worst signs ever. this is when you know you’re in it for the long haul – water or no water, skirt or no skirt, hiking shoes or no hiking shoes, 30 pounds of camera equipment or no 30 pounds of camera equipment.
and around this point i started to wonder if i should go back. i was one mile into it at this point according to the mile marker. i figured it couldn’t go on too much longer (the heat must’ve affected my cognitive skills).
of course, it did go on forever and ever. saw some nice water that i considered diving into despite its depth of about 1.5 feet:
and shortly after this i saw a sign that mapped the park and the trails around the lake. at this point i had walked very far and taken several turns because the path splits off in a couple places. i had no idea where i was, i just knew i was headed in the general direction of the lake. so i was thinking, “sweet! a map! please let me find my way out of this place as quickly as possible.” now, please, tell me if there’s something i’m missing, but if i’m not mistaken this map is completely useless:
do you see the little “YOU ARE HERE” sign at the bottom indicating that my location will be parked on the above map with a triangle? then do you notice how there’s a complete lack of said triangle on the map? side note: there is also no emergency telephone. so what – “YOU ARE HERE” as in “look! this triangle is pointing up towards the sertoma arts center boat house. you are somewhere around there! so, you know, if you needed to use that nonexistant emergency telephone to call for help, you can tell them you’re on the shelley lake trail at the sertoma arts center boat house and they’ll find you….in five days.”
sigh. so to make a long story short, i came stumbling out of the woods, disheveled and covered in sweat 2.5 miles and an hour or two later. thanks, shelley lake trail map.
the lake: shortly before i jumped in, drank the entire thing, and passed out.