DAY SIX Victoria’s Cove or Bust.
Spoiler alert: it was a bust. But before we went on the hike to Victoria’s Cove, we stopped at the Land Between the Lakes visitor center and planetarium. None of had ever been to a planetarium, and I was elated. When we arrived, my dreams were slightly dashed, as I envisioned an enormous telescope that was going enable us to look at the stars in the daylight. Does that even exist? At any rate, there was not such a telescope at the LBL planetarium. Instead, we shuffled into a small dome shaped room, and the guide lit up the night sky. He explained the elliptical path and how to find the planets by their characteristics and by following the path through the sky. He then lit the sky up with all of the constellations, focusing on the zodiacs. Finally, he talked about the total eclipse in August. It was still pretty impressive, even without the mythical telescope.
Next, with the rest of us looking on with disapproval, Jason talked to a ranger about nearby trails. He decided that we were going to hike to Victoria’s Cove from Jenny’s Picnic Area. It was supposed to be an easy little hike, but it was hot and none of us, except Jason, who is ALWAYS ready to hike, wanted to go hiking. Still, we got our packs which were filled with snacks, Gatorade, raincoats, extra clothes, tarps, swimwear, and bear spray (we were ready for everything) and started down the trail to Victoria’s Cove. This was at about 2 p.m. We had not eaten anything substantial since breakfast, but against better judgment we marched into the forest, each on the brink of hangry. I am coming to believe that hanger is similar to hypothermia in that in the deep throws of each, the sufferer is unable to recognize the symptoms and instead starts making poorer and poorer decisions. The former begins to take layers off, exacerbating the freezing and the latter refuses to refuel his body while continuing to push himself to the point of complete exhaustion and irrationality.
After hiking just ten minutes into the forest, Samus started complaining of mosquito activity. This seemed odd given that we had nearly poured on the mosquito spray at the trailhead. As we progressed, he became more and more agitated. This only inflamed Jason’s hanger. With the two of them hiking and arguing in the back, the rest of us marched on through the beautiful canopy, following a stream as we ascended. There’s no telling how far we hiked, but Samus was unrelenting with his complaining which switched from mosquitos to a head and stomach ache. These new physical symptoms caught our attention. Samus is known for overheating, and some of the first signs are head and stomach aches. We stopped dead in our tracks, forced him to drink and pivoted back to the car.
It didn’t seem that we had walked that far, but apparently, we had. It took FOREVER to reach the car. Thankfully though, with the knowledge that we were heading back, everyone was far more pleasant. Even better was, after forcing a bottle of Gatorade down Samus, he suddenly didn’t have any trouble with mosquitos.
The terrible journey towards Victoria’s Cove pretty much ended our day away from the camper. We went back, and the boys swam the night away.