When I woke up this morning I didn’t even know what day it was! MaMa has been out of work for over a week and I’ve gotten used to her being home and waking up without an alarm. But when MaMa and Pop started talking about where to take Levi and I today, and MaMa got on her phone to look up forest and nature preserves, I figured out it must be the weekend! Which meant we were going somewhere special!!
We chose the Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Beecher, Ill. We had never been there and it was just a little over 30 minutes from home, so we could get there before it got too hot. It’s been a hot June, and it’s not even officially Summer yet. We need to plan our outings so we can be home well before the hottest time of the day, because I don’t care much for the heat and MaMa doesn’t care much for carrying me!
So Levi and I hopped in the car, and proceeded to wait for MaMa and Pop to get their act together. They are always scurrying around, packing snacks and extra waters, making sure we are prepared for anything. MaMa grabbed a roll of paper towels as she headed out the door…”just in case” and we were finally on our way!
On the way down there we were tooling along, making good time, when we realized we had missed our turn! Luckily this only set us back a few minutes and took us through Monee, Ill. Since Levi was whining and crying like a baby, Pop decided to pull over at a park to see if he had to do some business. While walking around the park we were stopped by a Policeman who told us that dogs weren’t allowed! He said we could be charged $100 per dog, but since he was a dog owner himself, he was going to let us go! I started barking and giving him a piece of my mind, but he just laughed and said, “It’s always the little ones!” I seem to hear that a lot! Levi decided to be the peace maker and licked the officer’s hand. He let us go with a reminder to look out for signs in parks saying NO DOGS ALLOWED. I can’t figure out why we wouldn’t be allowed somewhere like a park, but I guess some towns just be that way!
We finally arrived at the Nature Preserve and boy was it a nice one! It had a nature center where I met a giant salamander! Then I took a break in some giant honey combs before checking for rabbits in a bunny tunnel!
By 9AM it was already starting to warm up, so we decided to take a short walk through the woods on the Snapper Pond Trail, also known as the Trail of Thoughts. Along the way, were quotes about nature that MaMa read aloud to us. My favorite was the one by Dr. Seuss:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing will get better. It’s not.”
It really gave me something to think about as we walked along that short trail through the trees. About half way on the trail we came upon Snapper Pond, and stopped to take a look at some big toads! They were making all sorts of noise! I appreciated the opportunity to sit and take a break. I sit and chill any chance I get!
At the end of the trail we saw three horses being ridden along the Plum Creek Greenway Trail, which is the longest of 5 trails at this preserve, and intersects with the short trail we were on. Levi and I don’t really like horses, so we got out of their way quickly (thanks to MaMa and Pop pulling us away).
Since it was starting to get too hot for me to walk around, and the flies were bothering Levi, we decided it was time to take off, but not before MaMa made us run up a giant hill to get a good look around. I promptly made my way to a shade tree, of course. It really is a nice preserve and we decided we will definitely go back on a cooler day.
Since we were already out that way, we stopped at the Crete European Market, where we found a treat man who gave us samples of his yummy dog biscuits. He also made human cookies, which Pop can never resist. MaMa also found a vendor there who sells her favorite local honey. Everyone we passed told us how cute we were. It was a fun stop!
After that Mama decided we should also make a stop at the Park Forest farmer’s market, where she bought some homemade, organic bread and Amish chocolate crinkle cookies, while Pop stayed in the car with Levi and I. Dogs are only allowed in a small section of that market, so staying cool in the car seemed like the best option.
Since it was getting close to lunchtime, we made a quick stop at an A & W drive-thru to pick up some chow. Levi and I didn’t beg for any though. We napped instead!
Once we were almost home, Pop made one last stop at our favorite store in Mokena, I’ll Be Doggone! I love going there and ran like a bullet to get inside! I sniffed every bag of food on the lower shelves and barked at the two dogs behind the counter. Pop bought us a couple of treats before it was finally time to head back. We were almost home when Pop picked up his root beer and the lid came off, splashing both him and I with sugary soda. All MaMa said was, “Good thing I grabbed those paper towels” and for once she was right!