Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Daily Journal: June 11, 2014

Location: Schaumburg, IL
Miles Hiked Today: 0
Weather: Cloudy

With the awfulness of this past winter, I am curious to see how this summer will play out. So far we've not had any overly oppressive summer days here in Northern Illinois. Granted, the worst of it rarely happens until July and August, but many years it can get oppressively warm in May and June here.

Up until mid-August, last year was not too bad. I remember hiking at Horicon NWR up in Wisconsin last July during a very unseasonable cool streak. It was quite strange to be walking through the prairies and along the boardwalk of that place during the peak of summer and not be sweating profusely. In fact, at times I could have used a jacket, as it probably was no warmer than 65 degrees.

Of course, there was warmth last summer. A trip up to Pictured Rocks on the shores of Lake Superior took place during a warm front, resulting in it being many degrees warmer in Northern Michigan than it was down in Illinois. And after the middle of August, there was a strong period of warmth for several weeks, the worst of which happened during yet another trip to Wisconsin. It wasn't so bad hiking through the pine woods at Mirror Lake during a heat advisory. However, the short prairie section was awful.

Really, only ensuring I have enough water is the main concern I have with summer hiking. Without water, things can go south quickly. Fortunately the warmth of summer coincides with long periods of daylight, so oftentimes you can still get plenty of hiking in without having to use the worst 4-6 hours of the day to do it. The sweat I don't worry about, other than the fear of it stopping.

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