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Exploring ‘new-to me’ territory

November 15, 2013
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

On Thursday it was noted that the weather was really, really nice. Highs were in the 50s, and the sun was shining brightly. While I wish I was outside instead of working, I do have to face the inevitable - winter is coming. We already got a wallop last week with five or so more inches than the predicted snowfall amount. While it was miserable outside for that stretch, it thankfully didn't stick around (with the exception of those snowpiles on the sides of plowed-out parking lots).

The weekend before the snow hit, Ross and I went to Garvin Park. We were trying to figure out a location while eating lunch - head to Split Rock Creek State Park or stick closer to home? I've only been to Garvin Park a few times - to either take photos or to cover an event. I've never really explored the trails, so it seemed like a good choice.

It was still a little chilly as we began the trek, so I was wearing my jacket along with a hoodie. It was the perfect afternoon for a walk (especially considering how the next day was so windy). The leaves crunched under our feet as we wound our way through the wooded trail.

Then it got a little warm for me. Guess I should've left the jacket in the car. The smell of fall was around us, and we didn't run into any people while we were on the trails. I had since taken the jacket off and was carrying it. Toward the end of our journey, we decided to climb up the lookout tower. I had put the jacket in the car and we hiked up the trail that led to the tower. That was when we finally ran into people on the trail.

Then came the tower itself. I used to not have a fear of heights. I remember clambering around the base of Devil's Tower without a care. But now there are times when my legs will get a little shaky, and the fear of stumbling or falling overtakes me. It was relatively OK going up the tower, looking out at the vista, but it was the coming back down that unnerved me. I was clinging for dear life to the sides of the tower. I sighed with relief as my feet hit solid ground.

As soon as we got back into Marshall, we didn't really want to end our time outdoors. So I suggested walking around Independence Park. Since daylight-saving time hadn't kicked in yet, it was still light outside. And unlike the last time we were there together, no skunks crossed our path.

When I got back home, I realized that I must have dragged my jacket on the ground for a while as there were several burs attached.

Now there's not too many of these nice days left, so it's time to get out there and discover someplace new. Even if it's nearby, and you've been here quite a few years.



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