Red bridge in a Japanese Garden

Probable penultimate very long walk of the year

Jackie and I did another of our very long walks yesterday, going 18.25 miles. We hope to go even farther in a walk in a couple of weeks (we’re tentatively thinking 20 miles), but that will probably be the last time this year that we do a new longest walk ever, simply due to limited daylight as the year winds down.

Like the last couple of very long walks, we stuck with Milo’s as our lunch destination. If you go the shortest way possible, it’s about 14 miles there and back. We were aiming for a bit over 17, so we had to add some short side trips to get the length up. We went by way of the research park and had coffee at the iHotel, went through Meadowbrook Park, and then after lunch briefly visited Crystal Lake Park as well.

I’ve brought my camera on almost all of these walks, but have hardly taken any pictures. This time, I took some pictures.

We’d walked through Meadowbrook Park on a couple of our previous walks, but usually after lunch. This time we did Meadowbrook Park before lunch—and we walked the prairie path, rather than taking the paved paths through the sculpture garden.

It was fun to see Jackie through the big bluestem.

Jackie standing amidst big bluestem
Jackie in the prairie at Meadowbrook Park

I was also pretty pleased with this picture of a thistle flower, taken just a few yards further down the path.

Thistle Flower
Thistle flower in the prairie at Meadowbrook Park

After lunch we proceeded toward Urbana, passing through the neighborhood where Jackie used to live before we started dating. One feature of that neighborhood is a little Japanese Garden. Jackie and I used to visit it pretty often. Eventually the last couple of reasons to visit that neighborhood vanished, and we quit going. I was pleased to get there again, although a little sad to see that they’d given up on the water features, and instead filled the pools with gravel. It’s not the same.

Red bridge in a Japanese Garden
The red bridge at the Japanese Garden near Sunnycrest

We also did a preposterous thing. In the midst of our very long walk, we paused to walk the labyrinth in Crystal Lake Park. (Endomondo did not seem to give us credit for this extra walking. I suppose at the level of precision possible with GPS, someone walking a labyrinth looks an awful lot like someone sitting at a bench.)

Jackie walking the labyrinth at Crystal Lake Park
Jackie walking the labyrinth at Crystal Lake Park

For those who are interested in such things, here’s the data on our walk, via Endomondo:

It was a good walk.

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