Get out and explore your backyard!

Ok, maybe not literally in your backyard, but GET OUTSIDE!  

Explore areas of your own hometown! Whether you live in the middle of a city, in the quiet country side or somewhere in between, there are always new places to explore!

Yesterday, I knew that I needed to get outside and enjoy the unusually warm February temperatures that Mother Nature was blessing us with!  Normally, I love to get out and run on days like this, but since I was dealing with the remains of a cold, the lungs were not ready for a run yet.  I was debating on heading out of a walk or a bike ride.  My voice of reason told me to go for a walk – It was easier to explore new places on foot than on a bike.  This was a very true statement, and also easier to pull off, since my bike is still hanging from the ceiling in the garage.

I grabbed my trail shoes and headed out to the trails on campus that I normally run.  I knew that there was a chance that they would be wet and muddy, but that’s never stopped me before!  On my way there, I remembered that there we some other trails, around that same area that I have never really explored before.

Change of plans!  Time to see what these other trails were like.  Next stop, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary!

Sometimes getting out to new places can do so much for you, physical and mentally!  New places, scenery and trails make you stop and really pay attention to what is around you.  So many times, when we go out and run the same route, hike the same trails, visit the same parks, we forget to pay attention.  It becomes common. We end up missing the natural beauty around us.

When I started my adventure, I started wishing I had my YakTrax with me, as the trails were still covered with packed snow and ice.  But this also was going to keep me from wanting to get out and run (Trying to save my lungs from the coughing fits!).  Since I was forced to slow down, I saw thing I know I normally would have missed.

The family of deer having breakfast just off the trail.

Just how many squirrels were playing in the leaves along the trail.

The peaceful serenity of the woods, even tho I was only a mile from the hustle and bustle of downtown!

Before long, the snow and ice was gone… and I found mud!

As I approached each fork in the trail, I made my decision on which way to go based on the adventures I imagined around the next corner!  I had not plan for distance, no plan for time.  Ok, I did have a slight time constraint, as I was meeting some friends later in the afternoon, but I knew that I had about 3 hours to play with!

Over the course of the next few miles, I discovered one of the best things ever!  I didn’t know how far out this trail system went, until now!

This sign caught me off guard.

Up until that point, I didn’t realize how far I had hiked.  The UWGB trails are my favorite trails to run.  The trails where I will be running my Ultra this summer.  I never put the connection together that these trails I was on today ended up so close to the campus trails!  I was on a mission to figure out where these came together! Ultra training just took on a whole new life, with extra trail to add a few more miles without running the same loops like last summer!

Once I had that mystery solved, it was time to start heading back.  And time to find that hill!  As I continued on this adventure, the wet and mud continued… need to let this dry out a bit before I actually run out here.  Maybe…

Finally, I circled back to the opening where I could see the hill and as I rounded the last corner, I saw THE most amazing sight…

Now must people would see a grassy hill.

I see it as a Mound of Opportunity!

Knowing that there is an observation point at the top, I was excited!  I found a new hill to add into my training plan!  I sloshed through the water and mud and headed to the top!

And it was worth it!

In the end, I hiked almost 5 miles, discovered now places to run, trail and enjoy!  I left with a renewed sense of adventure, appreciation and serenity. In the end, it didn’t matter that I left my YakTrax at home.  I encountered just as much water and mud, as I did snow and ice.

It’s not about doing what you always do.  It’s not about doing what is expected.  Get out and explore!  New adventures help to keep us growing.  Keep us wanting more.  Help us to stop and appreciate the world around us! You never know what you will find around the corner!

 

Sometimes, my best judge of how good an adventure was, is determined my the mud on my shoes!  This was a good one… the shoes are still drying outside on the deck!

Where will your adventures take you this week?  Comment below and share your discoveries!

 

3 Comment

  1. Mindy says: Reply

    You’ve inspired me to find a new trail today! !!

    1. Amy Penokie says: Reply

      I am on a mission to discover as many new trails around here this summer that I can! Lets get lost in the woods!

  2. Alyssa says: Reply

    Love it. ❤️

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