With the warm weather and sunshine this past weekend, my girlfriend and I decided to check out Lee State Park. Lee State Park is just ten miles up the road from Lamar, and while I’ve driven on Lee State Park Road numerous times heading to the Interstate, I’d never visited the park.
Lee State Park was constructed in 1935 as a Civilian Conservation Corps project during the Great Depression. It is bounded on the west by the Lynches River, and features a number of easy-to-moderate hiking trails, as well as several equestrian trails. Most of the park’s 2839 acres is hardwood forest wetlands, and the park features four artesian wells that flow continually.
To get to the park, we loaded into my ancient, busted up 2006 Dodge Caravan—now with a fresh battery!—and buzzed up there with the windows down. My girlfriend’s German shepherd seemed to enjoy the ride, and turned out to be a real trooper on what turned into an unexpectedly arduous adventure.
When we got to the park, we grabbed a trail map, and merrily headed into the forest, attempting to follow the white-labeled Floodplain Trail, a five-mile, moderate hike. Unfortunately, the Floodplain Trail does not make a neat loop, and we headed towards the shorter end, which overlaps with the orange equestrian trail.
That decision would ultimately result in soggy, sloshing bit of amateur trailblazing through some of the muddiest terrain in Lee State Park.
The tug of nostalgia is a strong one. I’m only thirty-five, and I already feel it from time to time. Indeed, I’ve always been a sucker for nostalgia, which a psychologist might argue is one of the reasons I studied history. Perhaps. I also just enjoy learning trivia.
Regardless, Audre’s post caught my attention because I have been contemplating the literal, physical act of walking lately (although I often take metaphorical strolls down memory lane, too). I’ve put on a bit of weight in The Age of The Virus, so I’ve taken up walking as a way to complement a regimen of calorie counting (which is more of a loose, back-of-the-envelope calorie guesstimate each day).
I’m trying to get in around two miles of focused walking a day, mostly around Lamar. Although work commitments don’t always make that possible, I do find that simply going about my work results in around two miles of walking in aggregate. I’m curious to see what my step totals will be once the school year resumes, and I’m dashing about between classes, pacing the rows of students, and striding across the boards as I teach.
I’m not a runner, by any means. My older brother loves to run, and has the physique to show for it. More power to him, but I know myself well enough to know it’s not something I want to do. Runners swear oaths to running’s efficacy and delights, but gasping for breath in 100-degree weather with maximum humidity doesn’t appeal to me. Walking at a brisk clip in that weather, though, is at least bearable—once I’ve embraced the stickiness and the sweat, I can go for a couple of miles easily, and sometimes three or four.