Sunday, August 12, 2012

Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area

On the evening of Saturday, August 11, 2012, I hiked two trails at Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area.  The first trail was the west loop of the equestrian trail and the second was the Backwater Loop at the southwest part of the park.  This area is at the confluence of the Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers.  For centuries this confluence was a trade and exchange point for the various peoples who traversed the region.  In the 1600's the land was the site of a Kilatica village.  The Miami tribe was also reported as inhabiting this land.

Today there is a large power generation plant just west of the park.  The park has trap shooting, archery, equestrian, and recreational boating facilities.

On this hike, I finally got my pack weight below 20 pounds.  This is a goal I set at the start of the endeavor and I was glad to achieve it.  I finally left my big first aid kit at home and made one up for an individual.  I also left my fleece jacket out of the pack.  I packed my clothes and sleeping gear in a trash compactor bag at the bottom of the pack and put the shelter and cooking systems on top.  This made for a more comfortable load than last week when I used eVent compression sacks for clothes and sleeping gear.

I toyed with the idea of stealth camping in the park, but decided against it.  I was only 45 minutes from home and there are trains that roar through the park all night long.  I figured I would likely not sleep very much in any case.  So I packed up around 8:30 and drove home. 

Total distance hiked was about 6 miles in 2.5 hours.  The weather was spectacular!  75* with a steady breeze as the sun set while I was walking.  For a place that gets so much use, I had the first 4 mile loop all to myself.  It was great!  Here is the video....

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