First Day Hikes are becoming a tradition in our family. Last year, we had an epic First Day Hike, doing the 3 Dune Challenge at the Indiana Dunes. This year, it was a bit more modest, as our eldest was away for a week at winter camp and we opted to do our hike after we picked him up.
Geocaching is something we do on and off as a family and one of our favorite things is to try to collect the commemorative Geocoins from the Dupage Forest District Geocaching Challenge. We’ve done this the last few years and made it to some locations we never would have otherwise. Today’s hike was one of those places.
When we got to the DesPlaines Riverway Forest Preserve, much of the area was under water due to flooding, so the trail indicated was a no-go. Not wanting to give up too easily, the family voted to try to hike along the dry edge around the flooded area. Mid-preserve, we came across a stream with no crossing stones due to the high water. Wandering upstream, we finally found a spot we could safely get across.
Moving along, we were nearly at the geocache when we heard gunfire seemingly only yards away. While we couldn’t see anyone, the sound came from the river, so perhaps hunters were shooting at ducks from a boat. Not wasting any time, we hightailed it back the way we came, hearing gunshots one more time before reaching the safety of the car.
Not the geocaching outing we had hoped for, but adventure-filled for sure. There are many things I enjoy about geocaching, but gunfire is not one of them. We’ll be back to get that sticker once we find out it’s safe to go back.