Thursday, June 3, 2010

Merkle - Take Two

The boys spent Sunday evening and Monday morning with their dad and step-mom.  By the time they were dropped off at the apartment, I had the cooler packed (double Sunday's water, juice boxes and snacks). 

After the way Sunday's quest ended, they were not anxious to return to Merkle.  But with a preview of snacks and the promise/bribe of a dip in the pool when we returned, they agreed to finish what we'd begun.

When we got to Merkle, there were several other questing families.  They were every bit as sweaty and red-faced as we'd been the day before.  More so, because today, there could be no driving the main trail.  None of them were able to finish in one day.

The lady in the office confirmed that several teams had not been able to find the number one box.  It seemed to be missing.  She assured me the number three box was still in place.  I had my doubts, but decided the last thing we'd do that day was hike back to the number three spot.

We needed an easy find to get our spirits back up, so we hiked down to the Paw Paw trail.  We found box number five and shortly after, box number six. 


A nice breeze was blowing and there were less bugs then the day before.  We were ready for the long hike.

The boys and I headed back up the Critical Area Driving Tour.  I'm not certain how far we walked, but it was long and hot.  Gabe especially was not happy.  There wasn't much shade and we stopped frequently for water.

It took us about 40 minutes to get back to the number three site.  No box.  Just the string where it had been tied to the pier.

The hike back was miserable.  The breeze had died and the sun was beating down.  I found myself towing two tired boys back to the parking lot.  We had to rest fairly often.  Even Matt was exhausted.

We completed nine quests last year, this was by far the hardest.

We finally reached our car and were revived by a little water from the cooler.  Once on the road, the breeze from the open windows restored us further.  The boys started talking again by the time we hit 301.   They were worried that after all this work, our quest wouldn't count since we were missing two stamps.

When we got home, they forgot about the quest in the glory of the pool.

I emailed the quest administrators the next day.  I'm happy to report: after two days and goodness knows how many miles, we have officially completed our first 2010 quest!

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