Surviving the Six-Ravine Challenge at Shades

Let’s just start out by saying, sometimes we don’t make wise decisions!

The Six Ravine Challenge has you starting on the backpack trail down (to Sugar Creek) on the western leg of trail 8 back up the western leg of trail 7, down 4 and up 4, down 5 and up 5, down and up 1, down and around 6. This takes you through Shawnee Canyon, Kickapoo Ravine, Fritz Ravine, Kintz Ravine, Devil’s Punchbowl, and Red Fox Ravine.

We intended to accept this challenge sometime late September or in October–Sometime when it wasn’t 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity! But SAC was wearing a heart monitor and the doctor told her to go hiking and dig potatoes and whatever else she needed to do to get her heart “palpitating”!

So she decided to go on August 19th! It was 85 Degrees and very humid – house windows were fogged up so about 80% 0r 90% humidity. Let’s just say that all our hearts were palpitating! I’m sure the monitor got some awesome readouts!

According to the naturalist and the website, the Six Ravine Challenge is 4.5 miles. According to Map My Walk <insert link> and SAC’s Fitbit ™, we actually walked about 8.6 (me) and 5.7 (SAC) miles in 4.75 hours! We started at 11:30 and stopped around 4:20. And that was with multiple times resting on the ground and an extended period lying on a picnic table with a cold bandana on her face!

We felt very proud of our ability to get this done and not die! Many thanks go out to my wonderful husband ROC because neither of us would have made it had he not been with us, I don’t think. We don’t do humid very well. He doesn’t always hike with us and hadn’t intended to do the entire challenge, but just kept leading the way, urging us on and telling us not to quit before we got it done. What a coach! Our hero, as always!

Because SAC had to lie down on the picnic table, ROC and I were able to get a great look at the blue-tailed skink. (too fast for a photo and too worried about cooling SAC down!) SAC had seen one earlier while she rested at one point on the trail.

We saw a DeKay’s brown snake – we seem to see them quite a bit since we learned what it was. Isn’t that the way with learning? As soon as you learn about something, you see it everywhere.

Dekays Snake

Most of our time was spent focusing on the trails though. We did hear and see some of the usual Shades birds: Eastern Wood Pewee, Nuthatch, Turkey Vulture, Pileated woodpecker. And we heard an Acadian Flycatcher.

All in all, I’m glad we challenged ourselves for this extended hike. It gives me a great satisfaction knowing that this 65-year-old woman still has it in her to do something like this.

We’ll put this up with the 3 Dune challenge that we accomplished a couple of years ago.

Happy hiking! Hopefully in less humid conditions!


Categories: Hiking, Shades State Park | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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