Thursday, May 3, 2012

Branching Out

Branched Oak Lake
Midnight brought a light show and high winds to my home behind the Cultural Center.  The entire sky shifted between  illumination and darkness like a flickering bulb not quite willing to give up the fight.  My fear of vicious weather never materialized, however, and the whole show ended within an hour.  I woke at seven and met the morning crew, Charlie and Otto, who fixed me up with beverages and some snacks for the road.  Bobby arrived and gave the grand tour, featuring paintings and prints by Native American artist Daniel Soldier, who is currently working on a mural for this summer's big pow wow.
I headed out of Lincoln to the northwest, past the airport on 34 and turned north on 79, which I will follow to the Oak Creek Trail in Valparaiso, by which point I will wonder if I am walking to California or Canada.
By mid-afternoon I reached State Spur 55J and a dilemma.  I could go three miles off trail and camp at Branched Oak Lake Recreation Area or visit Raymond where there was no guarantee of a place to set up the Half Dome (my tent, not something from "Mad Max").
Contrary to what NBC would have you believe, I don't love Raymond so I vowed to head towards the park.  At the general store I met a couple of students from a community college in Lincoln who invited me to join their group at the lake. I accepted and quickly was wrapped in a world of depravity I would know nothing of if I'd not decided to conduct one or two hundred experiments with partying during my late teens and early twenties.  All for the good of science of course.
A week into the resumption of the hike and my emotions have already run the gamut.  I can't even imagine what the coming months will bring. 

15 miles/1898 total miles

Thanks to recent donations from:
Steve Wilson

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