I found a trail on Yelp that looked interesting. It’s the Greene Valley County Forest Preserve. The cool part about this place is that it’s a retired landfill. It still provides power to thousands of houses in the area from the methane gas it produces. I also read that if you climbed to the top of the Greene Valley hill you could see the downtown skyline of Chicago.
It was super hot, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me. I put on my SPF 50 (I’m a ginger) and headed out to the trail. A mosquito went crazy in my car, attacking me. I decided to pull over and get bug spray. I rarely use bug spray, but since I had no one else for the mosquitos to chew on, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some. I’m so glad I listened to my intuition (or the mosquito smeared on the calf of my leg).
I first went to the main trail. It was 2.7 miles. I figured it would be an easy walk. I was a little shocked at first that there was no trees on the first part of the trail, you know, it being a forest preserve and all. Just when I started to worry there was no shade, I found some. And then I was swarmed by mosquitos. It’s woodlands so I didn’t see any standing water, but I’m guessing there had to be some. I ended up running half the trail because the mosquitos were so intense. At any given time I would have 60 swarming me. Most weren’t trying to bite me because of the bug spray, but they were still hitting my arms and legs as I walked and ran. I am not a fan of these little blood suckers and it was a little intimidating. The worst part is that I didn’t spray down my head or neck with bug spray. This became a prime target for the mosquitos.
These little blood suckers harrassed me all the way through the trail. Once back in my car I decided to go to Hawk Trail. This is where you can climb to the top of the hill to see the skyline. I was hoping to catch it around sunset. I got out of my car and was in disbelief that my car was covered in hundreds of mosquitos. I sprayed more bug spray on myself and started towards the trail. To my dismay, the trail was blocked off. There was no sign except the posted hours that it should be open. Two men were walking up to the trail shirtless. I stopped and asked them if they knew why it was closed off. They had no idea. I asked if they brought bug spray. They said no and shrugged like it was no big deal. Then I pointed at their chests and told them they might want to get some. They looked down and both started near dancing/swatting at themselves. They ended up running back to their car.
This would conclude my hiking adventure for the day. I bought a swimsuit (the first one I’ve had in 5 years) and went back to my hotel and swam and then stretched in the hot tub. Swim suit shopping didn’t even make me cry. Big steps.
Hope you are joining in on the adventures! It can be anything out of the ordinary. You don’t have to be a mosquito ninja to play along!