Before we left, the Farmer said, "Don't get shot." He's great with the words of wisdom. Before we go camping, he either says, "Don't freeze to death" or "Don't get hit by lightning." Before we go walking in the woods, he always says, "Don't get shot." Deer hunting season ended last month but I guess he figured maybe some folks hadn't heard.
Jamie wore his bright yellow pack and carried water bottles and a soft-sided bowl. Phoenix wore his brand new bright blue pack and carried nothing (it was his inaugural trip with the pack). I wore a red hoodie and a bright blue vest. We were a colorful bunch. We didn't get shot.
It's a public trail and my guys always walk on leads. An amazing number of people think it's okay to let their dogs run loose. They're the ones yelling, "It's okay, he's friendly!" when their big goofy dog comes crashing into my guys. I am usually yelling, "Call your dog NOW, my dogs aren't friendly!" Phoenix makes that perfectly clear. Once the people get their idiot dogs back under control, they usually give ME the hairy eyeball. Whatever.
The trail doesn't get a lot of maintenance. Some parts are a little primitive but it's a great hike. We took the three-mile trail that goes back to the river and had the whole thing to ourselves today.
The forestry department who (sort of) maintains the trail calls it an oak savannah. I'm not sure what that means but apparently there aren't a lot of them left in Iowa. There are Indian burial mounds along the trail. The signage assures visitors they are there but is a little vague about exactly where. That's probably a good idea. The green moss-covered rock in the creek was about the only splash of color this time of year. Everything else is shades of brown.
They have put up some new directional signs. I had to laugh. "You are here." Well, I pretty much had that figured out. There was a tiny little asterisk to indicate where I was.
No ice on the Iowa River, which is very, very low. We frequently see Canada geese and bald eagles around the water but it was pretty quiet today.