With a prediction of thunderstorms all day, Ryan and I decided today was the perfect day to take a hike at Aman Park. We have lived in GR for 4 years and have never heard of this 331-acre park right in our own backyard. Luckily, we subscribe to Outside Magazine which recently featured Grand Rapids as the top town for mountain biking, (I know, we were a bit confused too). Needless to say, because of that article we hiked at Aman Park today.
It was really wonderful - lots of trails and very few people. Many of the trails we hiked today are along a meandering river or along the ridge looking down into the ravine. Really beautiful, and it never rained a single drop, so we were happy.
I learned a very important lesson today: Do not wear bootie-short-shorts while hiking in tall weeds in the middle of summer on a trail you've never been down before. I'm not positive what kind of weed it was, but Ryan and I both got stripes of tiny fiery, itchy barbs on our legs after walking through weeds on an uncut path near the river. We both were nearly loosing our minds when we realized the best option was to just keep walking through the unidentified mystery weeds as they scraped our bare legs with every step.
There was no escaping. I'll admit, I nearly took off sprinting from agony. Ryan kept saying "Nettles!" "Nettles" and I've never heard of those - but I just googled it and, by golly, I think he may have been RIGHT!! Have you ever heard of stinging nettles?
Luckily, that part of the trail was only about 1 mile long and we made it back to the main path where we stopped for a minute to survey the damage, only to be swarmed by a ridiculous amount of mosquitoes. One bit me on the forehead - which was an interesting choice considering all the juicier bits he had to choose from.
Other than that one horrid mile full of stinging nettles, it was such a great day - we are excited to hike at Aman Park again... I'll be wearing long pants!