Point Washington State Forest
is one of my favorite places but it's just not an inviting place during the heat of the summer.
It's hot, the mosquitoes are huge and mean and unless you enjoy that kind of thing it's not somewhere you want to go in August.
But it's cooled off now and I couldn't wait to get back into the woods.
And there are a couple of new geocaches out there that I wanted to look for as well.
So Saturday morning I got everyone ready (except the Island Girl who was off on an academic team meet) and off we went into the woods.
No matter how often I come here I'm still always amazed at how beautiful it is.
The trails we took crossed over the Longleaf Pine walking trail.
The trail winds all through the forest and the pines are absolutely spectacular.
We wandered around and found the geocaches we were looking for.
And spent a lot of time just enjoying the woods.
We brought Buddy the Beagle with us and the Oldest wanted to know why we couldn't let him off the leash.
See him smelling that track?
His Dad explained that the minute we let him go he'd take off into the woods and he may or may not come back.
Buddy hasn't had any real training and once a Beagle smells something he's off like a rocket. 15,000 acres is a big place for a dog with his nose to the ground.
And I have to say he was perfectly content hanging with us. He just loves being in the woods.
As much as I love sunsets on the beach, sunsets are just as beautiful in the woods.
We were driving down one trail just as the sun was setting and as we came around a corner we ran into a huge mud puddle. Well, huge mud puddle may be putting it mildly - the thing looked a lot more like a lake to me.
We could see the trail start back up around the bend and for once I was the one telling the Island King that I didn't think 4 wheeling through this one would be a good idea.
Normally he's pretty girlie when it comes to his truck.
Not this day.
He got out, grabbed a long stick and tried to judge the depth of the hole.
Can you see him in the picture?
The trail was so small I couldn't open my door to take a picture of him leaning way out, trying to see if there were any big holes under all of that water.
The whole time he was doing that I was thinking to myself that if he fell in it was possible that I would die laughing. Seriously, miles from nowhere and he falls into that muddy water?
I wouldn't even be able to help him because I'd be laughing too hard.
He poked all around, got back in the truck and told the boys to make sure their seat belts were on.
We were going in.
I wasn't sure that was a good idea but that old saying "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" popped into my head and I was ready to roll.
We took it a little slow and as we came out the other side everyone in the truck heaved a sigh of relief.
The trail ended shortly after and we had to turn around and go back through the "lake" to get back to the main trail.
Only this time we decided to have a little more fun.
We rolled up the windows and he floored it.
We absolutely flew through that puddle. Mud was flying all over the truck and all 4 of us were yelling Woo-Hoo at the top of our lungs. Even the dog was howling.
It was great!
When we hit the other side the boys wanted to do it again but by now it was really dark and we decided it was time to find the trail the leads out of the woods and head home.
I love 4 wheeling but not so much once it gets dark. Trees have a way of jumping out at you and slamming into a tree is not the best way to end a great day.
So we made it back to the highway and home we went.
But we're ready to go back and do it again - soon.