Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hunting vs Trail Running

I had heard from some online sources that Fort Leavenworth has some hidden trails. After getting confirmation on this from a guy on the Kansas City Trail Nerds message board I decided to try to find the trail. My Dad said he would go with me so we took off to Post and parked near the skeet range. The guy had given us the best directions that you possibly could for finding a trail that never really reaches a road. You basically have a couple land markers (water tower, skeet range, fence, etc) and have to suss it out as you go into the woods.
Once we finally found the trail we were off at a pretty slow pace. It's basically a deer/hunting trail - single track - and at this time of year it's covered in leaves. Deceiving. You can't see any ruts, rocks or other debris under the fallen foliage, so stepping down and off each time is quite a gamble. The trail was sometimes easy to lose as well.
As we were going, and having fun we kept hearing gun shots. But, it didn't really register too much because the skeet range was at the top of the hill. They were aiming at the targets flying above us.
We go a little further and find a geocache! My Dad had never heard of these so I explained it to him and we took an item and left an item. Fun!
Going a little further on to the trail we see deer right ahead of us! There were only a couple and they were so huge and majestic! We stood still, a little in awe, watching them watch us. Then they took off and I took off after them. After they quickly out ran us I looked down and pointed out some shot gun shells on the trail. A little further, we smell gun smoke but again, just assumed maybe it was still the skeet range "perfume." :)
We decided to head off the trail and try to find the road. After coming out of the woods we see hunters hanging around at the forest edge! We also see the sign "WARNING - Hunting Area."

The shells, the smoke, the sounds - not just the skeet range. We were literally running with the hunted. WE were the hunted!

Lesson learned. For Xmas I'm getting my Dad this bright blaze orange cap from Cabelas! haha.

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