Neighborhood stroll to park serves as first day hike for 2023

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 7, 2023

By Russ Stevens
For the Salisbury Post

Best-laid plans sometimes go awry. I know that’s not the specific quote, but it’s close enough. This year threw a couple of impediments in the way of doing my regular first-day hike. The first was that it again fell on a Sunday. As I looked at the schedules of the hikes within the drivable area, I couldn’t get to them on time after church.

The second impediment was that I had open heart surgery in the beginning of November. My recovery is going very well, but it’s too early to push it, particularly all by myself. Doing a substitute hike in the wilderness was off the table.

To keep up the tradition, I “bent the rules” and hiked a city park, specifically Hurley Park. The distance from my house was about right for a decent hike, and I would be in a populated area should I have any health issues.

It was a beautiful day, and the sun was out, requiring sunglasses. I wore a light jacket, which was just a little more than I needed. Since the weather the day before had been rainy, I wore hiking boots.

An advantage to hiking through the neighborhood is meeting people. I chatted with a neighbor I’d known for a while and even met one I didn’t know. I guess that would be equivalent to meeting new people on a guided hike in the state park.

When I got into the park, I met a young couple coming up from under the footbridge over the small stream in the park. They told me they hadn’t found any crawdads, although they had tried.

Down the stream, I took a picture of the pool where the fountain usually runs. While it wasn’t running, there was a sign telling people to stay off the ice. There’s no ice now but be sure to tell your children and grandchildren to stay off the ice when it does freeze over. We don’t want to lose anyone.

On the hike back, I briefly chatted with a neighbor whom I met on Halloween. Altogether it was a good afternoon. I walked about 2 miles with some decent hills. I figure that’s a good hike coming off heart surgery.

Russ Stevens lives in Salisbury and loves to hike. He’s looking forward to more monthly hikes with the Rufty-Holmes Outdoor Adventure group.

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