It usually starts on Wednesday in my office.
“Whatcha doin this weekend? Got any good plans?” asks the person I sort-of-know but don’t know well enough to have a really in-depth conversation.
“Um, yeah,” I replied this week. “I have a wedding on Saturday and this 50k trail run I’m going to go see…and I’m going to do some hiking while my friend runs.”
“OH, that sounds like fun” they say, not quite sure what I’m talking about. Or why I’d go to Wisconsin. I can see it – they’re thinking about the traffic on the way there, and the possibility of rain. It’s like a Rain Man loop playing across their face. “Can’t have rain. Must avoid the rain.”
Gheesh people. I want to dance and scream and remind them – IT’S OCTOBER, BABY! It’s that time of year when the leaves turn and people start to hibernate but nature, nature is giving us one last, rewarding show for the year, before we descend into the short days and the heavy snow (at least where I live.)
But I don’t say that. Instead, I just smile politely and think about what’s coming up this weekend.
Today, I’m hitting the road with a friend who’s doing The North Face 50k at Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin. It’s my favorite (okay, the only) park that I hike and camp at in Wisconsin, and I love the Ice Age Trail, which glides up, down and across moraines (these dips of gravel and sedmiment left as glaciers moved through the areas during – ironically- the Ice Age.)
I’m taking along those handy hiking poles, some warm clothing, and a little bit of focus – (no, not on me, or even my friend who’ll be running her butt off…). I’ll be focusing on exactly what the Earth (and that lovely broad Mother Nature) has given all of us = and what we can do to protect her gifts.
I know, you’re thinking “stick to the funny stories, Sallie” – and I will. But if you’ve got time, check out www.350.org which details the actions taking place tomorrow, October 24, around the world – to help folks focus on how much carbon should be in the atmosphere – and what we can all do to get to this magic number of 350 (parts per million, if you were curious).
I’ll be hiking along in a forrest full of pine, trying to figure out a unique way to work the number 350 into what I’m doing…maybe it’s 350 steps, counted multiple times. Maybe it’s three miles with five new friends, and zero carbon impact. I’m not quite sure what the day holds, but I’ll be thinking about what that State Park gives me, and how I can protect it.
So get out there tomorrow, and do something to show your appreciation for Mother Nature. Take a hike. Take a photo. Take a bike ride. Take a walk somewhere you’ve never been. But get out there. Mother Nature’s opening her doors with some serious invitation to fun, and it’s OCTOBER BABY – it’s time to take her up on that invite.
I’ll see you on the path!