October 24, 2012

#30WriteNow STL Lose to Win Fall 2012 Challenge: Week 7


The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.   Smiles, Samuel


Well this the is 7th week in my weight loss challenge. Since my renewed focused from last week's weight loss I went to my Curves center for my weekly check-in. I went down an additional 3 pounds. I was too giddy and clapped my hands together. I finally feel as though this uphill battle I've been dealing with in regards to my weight is starting to come around. So I'm more stoked than before. I'm still going strong with my workout classes, still dealing with my eating issues but have gotten a WHOLE lot better.

This past Sunday as part of my Walking Project I decided to walk at the Fort Belle Fontaine Park. It is known for being part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. 

What I found fascinating right off the bat with this place is that with this park, it actually has a gate at the front entrance and when you enter the park grounds you have to sign in and out. Talk about interesting security.... so I finally find the trail area and park my car. I take in my surroundings and shortly after begin my walk. Within a few minutes I come up to a  "fork in road" to my left I see a trail going up a hill and to the right I see a  sign that informs me that APPARENTLY the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department train their K-9 units in a facility right down the road.......sooooooo..... I'm thinking it's in my best interest to keep my ass to the left and proceed to walk in that direction.

K-9 that I would NOT want to meet

Now this one is a possibility.....

 So as I proceed on the left path I notice the beautiful scenery and couldn't help snapping a picture. 

Shortly after I come up to a trail that starts to go into a wooded area, I notice a sign that tells me that I will be embarking on the same trail that Lewis and Clark used when they were exploring the area back in the 1800's so I was quite excited. Not only would I get a great workout but I also would learn some history as well. So as I proceed to read this particular sign it is informing me about the various animals that were and as far as I was concerned still a possibility might still inhabit the area.  So I see there are beavers, owls, squirrels, and few a other animals that didn't really gather my attention...that is until I came across THIS word......coyote....yes I said....coyote..... I was like what the dumbcluck!! I couldn't go in one direction because of a K-9 units and now you are telling me that if I walk this trail I might run into a damn coyote!!???!! I just looked up into the sky and I'm thinking Really, REALLY??!!

So as I look at the trail I notice a yellow bar that is barring the trail more so for vehicles than for pedistrians so even after I stood there for about 5 minutes STILL contemplating what I was going to do, I said f*ck this and walked PAST the trail toward another area. Well I thought I was all good and dandy until I realized that I was walking towards the K-9 unit complex and saw that they also have a cemetary there for their fallen comrades.

K-9 Cemetery

K-9 Memorial area
So after snapping these few pictures I start hearing alot of barking coming from the gated off K-9 complex and I took that as I my cue "Black girl jog your ass out of this area" and went back to the trail where the yellow gate was with my coyote issue. So at this point I'm wishing I was "packing" for the particular trip.

What I mean when I say "packing", f*ck a permit

So I decided that since I came this far, I was just gonna be a dumb ass and try to walk the trail but you had better believe that as soon as I crossed that yellow barrier that I saw the first time I went in search of the biggest stick I could find and drag by my side so just in case I did come up against a furry four legged creature that was not pleased to make my acquaintance I was gonna show his or her ass (I'm an equal opportunist) the "two handed branch shuffle". Now mind you I normally also listen music when I am on my walks, it helps me to keep a steady pace, but after walking in those woods, screw that. The headphones only were in my ears for about 5 minutes after that I became so darn paranoid that I took them out so I could hear everything that was going on around me.  While I was walking this trail I did notice a creek call Coldwater Creek off to my left and honestly did plan that if something should come out of the woodworks towards me in a threatening manner than I was gonna jump in that creek....

The Creek is peeking through

Better picture of the Creek

yea yea another pic of the creek

So as steady looking around and walking you can't imagine my relief when I come up on another Lewis and Clark sign which made me more comfortable (just a tad) about the trail but I still couldn't believe that as long as I had been walking which by this time was about 30 minutes I still couldn't believe I had not seen another living 2 legged soul on this trail..

Lewis and Clark sign about Coldwater Creek

So after reading the sign I keep on my trek and take in the sites and nature and I came across section of the trail I just HAD to take a picture of.

Pretty shot of the trail, it reminded me of a corridor for some reason

 So after that A-HA moment I kept going and came across this sign that informed me that I was in the area where the first Fort was built on this side of the Mississippi River. Pretty cool and of course my silly behind is looking around like....where is the Fort but of course I then realized there was no way it would have survived but there were markers in the area to let me know where the original fort had been built.

So after staring at the site because let's face it that was  all I could do....I kept walking.  Then I came across something I was definitely not expecting to see.

Looked like a chimney to me
Appearently back in the 1940's President FDR and his wife Elenore were part of a group that went the process of "beautifying" various areas especially those within parks. This park was particulary specially because of the Lewis & Clark historical connection. Back then there had been a bath house for the men and women and other places of interest such as an area that picnics could be held.

Right side of the bathhouse

Panoramic view of the bathhouse

Left side view of the bathhouse

Center view of the bathhouse


look familiar?
So as I'm walking past this structure I could believe my eyes with the next one. It was a huge staircase that had been built so people could enjoy the scenery and i tell ya it has a wonderful view. I decided to go up the right side until I could get to the top and then came back down on the left side. I tell ya that walk is not for the faint at heart, I was sweating midway up.

Base of the steps


First landing

on steps still going up

Second landing

another pic the Second landing

steps leading up past second landing

fountain past second landing

more flippin steps

omg all these STEPS!!!!

and some more.....

and still I rise this must be the fourth landing, honestly by this point I lost flippin count

OMG!!! Will it ever end

Finallly at the top!!! Now do you see the grass near the river? That is where I was near when I started the climb

Finally at the top

So after looking around and taking in the sites and also catching my breath, I make my way back down the huge staircase and get back on the trail. I come across another "fork in the road" shortly after and decided to be adventurous and take the left path, so as I'm walking the path I'm seeing cobwebs, big cobwebs and I'm thinking that this path hasn't been used in a while but to hell with that I'll still press forward....boy am I dumb or what... because after ducking under branches and going through more cobwebs I come up against a big ass tree trunk. I said that's it, I'm done and back tracked to trail and took the right way all the up to the end of the trail. So after completing the "official part" of the trail I notice a road that is leading toward a few boarding halls I noticed at least 3 of them and wondered if the park also doubled as a retreat area. 

As I'm making my way past the area where the big staircase is I see that the road splits off to A) back to the main road where my car is parked near and B) then the other road I realized was going to lead me back over by the K-9 unit complex. Need I say more.... 

So after making my way back to my car I noticed a sign near by that had been like the ones that I had seen on my walk.

Overall besides the creepy factor in the beginning, I thought this was an interesting trek but I know in the future if I plan on coming back to this particular park I will make damn sure I bring someone else along with me.


Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz

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