To say we went for a walk today would be a serious understatement. I’m not sure how far we walked because we forgot to set the pedometer on Abi’s phone, but we nearly wore ourselves out.  Walking in Ashland is a workout in itself because 1/2 of the town is built up into the hills and there is a 93-acre park (with hiking trails) in Ashland.

Today though, along with hiking in the park, we discovered the Hearts Nature Trail which took us up in the hills.  Fortunately, (maybe not?) we didn’t see the warning sign about black bears and cougars until we were back on flat land. Um. Yikes!
Warning notice about bears!

Warning notice about bears!

Whenever I start to whine about getting up a steep trail, Abi reminds me about my desire to walk the Camino de Santiago.  But see, here’s the thing, we won’t be making that trek anytime in the near future so that “threat” only goes so far with me.  So then he tells me to be adventurous. Right. I’m always usually glad – after the fact – that we took on the challenge, but getting through it can be rough because as much as I love to hike, I have a profound appreciation for staying away from wildlife.  Here’s just a glimpse of what we found in Lithia Park today before we headed up into the hills.
The duck pond in Lithia Park

The duck pond in Lithia Park

Capturing the sun through the trees

Capturing the sun through the trees

The main path into the park

The main path into the park

Picnic area

Picnic area

See the hills in the background?  That's where we hiked the Heart's Nature Trail

See the hills in the background? That’s where we hiked the Heart’s Nature Trail

We're walking along and this guy is near a tree and he says, "Want to see something cool?"  You know, one of those.. um, okay moments?  Turns out there was an adorable Screech Owl asleep in the hollow of the tree.

We’re walking along and this guy is near a tree and he says, “Want to see something cool?” Definitely one of those.. um, (not quite sure) okay moments. Turns out there was an adorable Screech Owl asleep in the hollow of the tree

Arch Bridge in Lithia Park

Arch Bridge in Lithia Park

Reflection of trees in the pond - favorite shot of the day

Reflection of trees in the pond – favorite shot of the day

 “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”    ~  John Muir

When is the last time you went for a really great walk?

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