Walking

If anyone asked me what one thing I felt was the most enjoyable of all, I would say walking. In my opinion, this is a very overlooked way of enjoying life, and exploring, no matter where you happen to be. You’d be surprised how many little things you notice, that would have gone unseen, while you’re out for a walk.

I’ve cut back a bit on my distance walking, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t do it anymore. I certainly do, and I don’t limit myself in distance either. I just don’t go every day, like I used to.

There are, of course, endless places to walk around here, but many times I’ll choose to go for a walk along Milliken Mine Road. This is because I have quite a few options, if the mood should strike me. There are three different mine sites, with many miles of unused gravel roads running through them. There is the Sherriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, with a number colour coded trail loops. Also, there is the Fire Tower Lookout road, which winds it’s way up to a fantastic viewpoint.

Milliken Mine Road is also, in itself, a nice quiet walk, with lots to see along the way.

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There are all different types of colourful wildflowers, from early spring, to late fall. When one stops blooming, another starts, so there’s something different to see all the time.

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When the conditions become favourable, mushrooms pop up out of the ground very quickly. I hadn’t seen any for quite a while but, with the recent cool spell we had, they all came shooting up to see what was going on.

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I find mushrooms to be really interesting, with all the different shapes, sizes, and colours. I’ve seen some really huge ones, and I’ve seen some really strange looking ones too.

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You’d never see a mushroom like this, unless you were walking. It was hidden under a huge boulder.

I have to admit, sometimes I do get carried away, when I’m out walking, and I end up walking much farther than I thought I would. I don’t really plan my walks, they just happen. Sometimes I’ll head off into one of the mine sites, or sometimes I might do one of the trails in the Sherriff Creek Sanctuary or, like today, sometimes I’ll head all the way up to the Lookout Tower.

Since it was a Saturday today, there were a number of people going up there, but not walking. Very few people walk up to the Lookout Tower, even just from the bottom of that particular road, where there is a parking area. In fact, I get some crazy looks from people driving by, as I’m walking up. ๐Ÿ™‚

I remember the first time that I walked up to the tower. I felt such a rush of accomplishment, as I tried, desperately, to catch my breath. Today, it seemed so easy. A stroll in the park, so to speak. I remember thinking, on the way back, I could do that again right now.

As I was walking back down Milliken Mine Road, a car came up behind me, and slowed down. There was a man and a woman in it, and they had been up at the tower when I had walked by. The man rolled down his window and asked “Do you want a lift?” I said, “Oh, no thanks, I’m just out for some exercise, but thanks anyway.” He drove away shaking his head back and forth, I suspect they were thinking, how much exercise does this guy need? ๐Ÿ™‚

This has been an unusual summer, weather-wise. We’ve had lots of rain, a real hot spell, and then a real cool spell. I think that the trees around here are a bit confused, because I’m beginning to see a lot of colour.

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Is it still summer, or is it fall? Or, should we just throw out any ideas of spring, summer and fall all together, and just take whatever we get?

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No matter what the season, there is always something interesting to see when I’m on my walks. I mean, how many times do you see a small plant growing out of the side of a log? And, in such a beautiful location?

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A couple of little flowers in the tall grass and ferns that no one who is driving by will ever see.

Walking to me, is not a pass time, or something I do to lose weight, or to reach some kind of goal, although it is great exercise. It’s a lifestyle. It’s part of the way that I live, and it really is such a contrast to the rushing world around it. It gives a much different perspective on life, and what it means to be alive.

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Whether it’s wildflowers in summer, or the deafening quiet of winter, I always feel more alive when I’m out walking in nature.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. You might want to look into Ultra Lite Hiking, if you just head in one direction and go, sometimes you might not make it back before nightfall, or you might be stuck out after dark!
    Cheers, yet another good post, need pics.
    ps it is getting hotter again down here, so maybe summer time?

    Reply

    • Hey Wild_E;

      Ya, that Ultra Lite Hiking does look neat, and I have looked into it before. However, if I’m going to be camping out, I always prefer to have someone along to talk with around the campfire in the evenings. I have done solo camping, and it’s okay too, but it’s a bit lonely around the fire. It’s kinda funny, because I’ve never thought this through before. I never feel lonely, no matter what I do, but sitting around a campfire at night is somehow different, at least for me.

      The reason I do a lot of day trips up here is that the wilderness is so close. I can be in the middle of nowhere in minutes, whereas a lot of people drive for hours to reach a place like this to go camping. It’s sort of the best of both worlds, all the comforts of home, but wilderness at my finger tips. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

      • I was actually thinking in regards to safety in case the weather turns for the worse or you just get into day dreaming and bam, how did it get to be 9pm?
        so lightweight safety shelter, knife, fire implements, food and a small portable water system!
        Remember I am built to think this way!

      • Yep, I hear ya Wild_E, and this is very wise advice. I often carry survival items, if I am going to a place I don’t know that well. Even if I’m just on a well-known hike, I usually have a minimum of basic survival stuff with me. We all make mistakes though, and I almost paid the price by going into an unknown area, not too long ago, without my usual equipment. It nearly, literally, came back to bite me, when a bear came out of nowhere. It wouldn’t have happened, had I been carrying my little music player, that I always use when hiking in remote areas. This usually lets the bears know that I’m coming, so they can make good their escape. Also, I didn’t have other equipment that I always carry with me, like my walking stick, which would be a formidable weapon, if need be, or my bear bangers, or even my survival knife. I made a mental note to myself on that day to never do that again.

  2. Great Mental note too!
    My walking stick now needs a bandaid, I split it and now have to fix it! It is a special Solid Oak martial arts quarter staff, so it will be mended back up, to look different, but very usable!
    cheers

    Reply

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