Sunday evening I decided to try something I hadn’t done in years, probably not since cross-country season my senior year of high school. I went for a walk out in the country.
I started my house and walked the back roads out to Marion County Park and Lake, and back home again. As near as I could figure, it was a walk of about five miles.
It was really enjoyable walking the gravel roads between Marion and the lake — certainly more fun than driving the same route. It was stimulation for my senses that just wouldn’t be possible in my car. Without having to focus on the road, I was able to appreciate the sights more, and I could hear meadowlarks and red-winged blackbirds singing in the pastures, as well as frogs croaking in a stream by the road.
Just as I was leaving town, I heard a gobble from the direction of a wheat field. When I looked, I saw three big turkeys strolling around the edges of the field. One of them ducked into the swiftly growing wheat when it saw me.
The country also has a different set of smells than in town, although that isn’t always a good thing — especially when you’re walking along an occupied cattle pasture.
Then there was feeling the wind. There was a warm south breeze that kept me from getting soggy with sweat as I tried to push my pace. Of course, that same wind made the walk out to the lake more of a workout, and wouldn’t you know it, it seemed to die down by the time I was headed home.
I probably bit off more than I could chew for my first long walk in a while, because about halfway back from the lake, my feet really started to ache. By the time I was back to the blacktop in town, I was certain I was going to have blisters on both my feet. I didn’t get any blisters, but my feet are still sore two days later. Maybe I should have worn better shoes or worked my way up to the longer distance. But my walk was a nice reminder that we live in a part of the country with its own particular beauty to it.
— Adam Stewart