We went for a hike today, in Emmenegger Nature Park. It is located northwest of the I-44 / I-270 interchange. It is bordered on two sides by these highways, so in many parts of the park the roar of traffic noise overwhelms the more idyllic natural sounds. The western side of the park is bordered by the Meramec River, which only last week was still in major flood. Today, the water was down again and the river was back within its banks, but from the boat ramp, to the parking lot, to the lowland paved trails there were clear signs of the recent flooding. One pedestrian bridge that is almost twenty feet above the water now, still had flotsam lying on all of its railing’s horizontal surfaces. The park is basically a single valley, with a stream running its length. The last two day’s rains left plenty of mud, but most of the trails were still in pretty good shape. We tried out our new hiking poles. We felt kind of silly using them on the paved trail, but once we began to climb above the valley floor, they proved their mettle, especially on the descents. They were also pretty helpful when we were rock-hopping across the stream. The best park of the hike came near its end, while we were headed back, we walked along a ridgeline that overlooks the river. Since, the trees are now all leafed out, you couldn’t see the river very well, but we could hear the motorboats ply the waters below. It has been twenty years since we last visited Emmenegger, so it probably wasn’t too unexpected that we managed to get lost, twice. That was bad, but on the way out we met a park ranger and then a few minutes later, we bumped into him again. He had managed to get lost too. Maybe it was caused by the aftermath of the flooding?