One reason I was so miserable was I underestimated the terrain for the area. I assumed this place wouldn't have much of an elevation change. Heck it's Illinois! If you look west with a pair of binoculars you can see the back of your head. I even studied the topo maps, and evidently there is some sort of a conspiracy with the map makers, because there aren't hardly any lines of declination for the whole Farmdale area. Some of us hike almost every weekend and we commented before we left that there couldn't be anything in this area that compares to the hills and knobs we've been climbing in Southern Indiana, it should be a breeze. What we soon realized is, yes the hills around Peoria aren't as tall as the ones back home, but man, they were steep. Most of the time it seemed like where ever we needed to go was up a 45 degree hill. Not only up a hill, but through thick underbrush that the deer couldn't hardly penetrate.
Then when we weren't climbing up or down a hill we were usually in mud. And a lot of time we were in grass over our head that when touched released a cloud of pollen right in your face. Then just because we weren't uncomfortable enough, the mosquitoes were as thick as anywhere else on the planet. Top all of that off with a heat index of 100 and you probably get the point. Yes we were physically miserable, but we were having the time of our lives!
We had planned on doing the whole thing in one day, but around 4 or 5 on Sunday afternoon we knew that wasn't going to happen. Especially since one of our team members wasn't 100%. So, we probably did about ¾ of everything we needed to do on Sunday, and decided if we were all feeling better Monday morning we would come back and finish this thing quickly. But, nothing happens with the Journal quickly. On Monday morning, we headed toward one missing waypoint that we had pondered about the night before over pizza and Google Earth when the rain started in. We had hoped it would pass by quickly (there's that word again) but soon it started to thunder, and opting not to add a lightning strike to our physical woes, we decided to hunker down in a nearby Mexican restaurant.
After lunch and some deciphering we knew exactly where to look for Jacob's treasure. Unfortunately, getting there was another problem. But problem solving is what our group does best. I think given the time and the opportunity the six of us could solve anything anyone throws our way. We could probably untie the Gordian Knot, and we could definitely figure out how to beat the Kobayashi Maru, so after some pondering, we found our way to the final and eventually had the log book in hand. It took us two days instead of the one we originally planned, and we were quite wet and exhausted, but we had tackled the Journal.