When Hubs is away, I explore and do things I normally don't do. I'll take long walks without telling anyone where I'm at, or go walking at 10:30 pm past shady apartment complexes. I drive myself to places I haven't been before. I have not seen everything in St. Louis yet, and having extra time where I know I don't have to make dinner or be home at a certain time is fun. Plus, I have to find something to fill all the lonely time up. Usually I take Ransom with me for protection.
Hubs hates it that I do this.
This time, I decided to check out two nature parks I had heard about. The first one was a bit run down. It didn't look super nice and there were very few cars in the lot. But, I still got out and covered myself with bug spray (because bugs seem to attack me) and set off on the trail.
It was pretty, but the paved portion was really short. So, I took off on what looked to be a dirt trail off-shoot. I hiked for quite a ways up onto a bluff over the river. It seemed like the trail would go forever, but then I started thinking about the fact that I was all alone and nobody knew where I was. I then started going over scenarios in my mind about what I should do if someone were to take me. I had at least taken my phone with me, but realized a bad man would take it from me in an instance. I needed to hide it; so I put it an unmentionable spot and decided that I would text Hubs from the trunk of this unknown assailant's car. Then I would push out his tail light and someone would see me and call 9-1-1. Then I'd be safe. No big deal, but I wouldn't do any TV interviews because if the man got out on bail, he might try to find me.
Once I figured that out, I decided to return back to the paved part of the trail. I was really pleased with myself that I found my way back with no problems. I made sure I had exhausted all the options of the paved trail and then decided to try another park on my way home.
This second park is Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. It is very nice with three paved trails. I choose one of the short ones, thinking I would try them all. What I didn't expect was the steep hills. It was a constant up and down trail for 2/3 of a mile - super steep hills, with switchbacks. I loved jogging this trail because it was completely in the woods and I love to be enclosed by a forest. They have a staffed information center and the parking lot was much fuller and I saw other women walking around by themselves.
While I did not feel scared at either of these places, I felt safer at the second and I plan to go there again on my way home from work. It was really nice and enjoyable.
I really feel like I should tell you that when Hubs is away I don't do anything that I feel is unsafe. But I may go jogging at Forest Park or go try out a new park that I haven't yet visited or try out a new area of town if I know there is a store or coffee shop I have been wanting to see. (The walk at 10:30 pm past the shady apartments was a necessary task when Hubs was away due to getting home late. I walked really fast and had Ransom for protection.) I always do my exploring during the day and if I ever felt scared, I would stop.
Hubs knows I am an explorer. When we went to Seattle a few years ago, Hubs had an interview and I took off to explore downtown Seattle by myself. That included walking 2 miles to a bus stop, navigating the bus system to downtown, spending the day downtown, taking the bus back and walking 2 miles back to the hotel.
I think Hubs just wishes I would explore when he was in town...