This past weekend I had the opportunity to again get outdoors and hike. It was the annual IDIDAHIKE which is a fundraiser for the North Florida Trailblazers who maintain sections of the Florida Trail. This year the hike was along the Suwannee River. Even though the weather forecast called for rain and there were some major showers during my drive to the location, about 70 people came out and hiked between 2.5 and 10 or so miles. We were lucky during the hike and there was no rain along the trail.
As some of you may know I have been an avid camper since I was a child.
Every summer my parents loaded up the station wagon with 5 kids and sometimes the dog and cat and off we went for 2 weeks to places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Lassen, Glacier, Grand Teton and other National or State parks for camping trips. There we were, seven of us in a 9 by 9 tent spending our days hiking around, seeing the sites, and our nights by the campfire.
In my teen years, I began to backpack with some friends who were much more into the outdoor and wilderness than I and learned to love the solitude and beauty. Now that I have a wife and children, we got into camping when the children were very young. The backpacking itch hit me again and a few years back I bought a bunch of equipment and began with some short local trips with the boys, and each year seek to do a little more. Last summer we spent a few nights on the southern end of the Appalachian Trail and are planning an even more adventurous trip out west this summer.
Its been drilled into us recently by the Lets Move campaign and numerous scientific studies of the benefits of walking and other physical activities. If one should be walking, what better place to do it then in the beautiful outdoors all around America? Each State has their own unique places to hike from small local and regional parks to large state and national parks and forests. A simple Google search will provide you with ample ideas of places close to your place of work or home. In fact just a few minutes from our office is a local park of over 8,000 acres with 2 loop trails where some of our staff walk. You may even wish to check into web sites like Meetup where you can search for local hiking groups or people who share other passions similar to your’s in your community. Here’s The North Florida Trail Blazers site on meetup and below are a few other links to get you started:
Some Photos from the IDIDAHIKE
Some photos from the Appalachian Trail
My son who is rather mellow to begin with, gets into the Zen of the moment