by Mike Schuetze
"HIKING CAN TAKE YOU AWAY FROM EVERYTHING
AND CLEAR YOUR MIND."
I'm not a city person. I never was and I never will be. My profession was what forced me to adapt to a city lifestyle, but in my heart I will always be in western Minnesota on the edge of the prairie where I would hunt ducks, pheasant, and deer. Where the prairie gives way to the hardwood forests and lake country to the east of town. This is where I grew up and learned about life. Watching ducks come in over a slough in a frosty October sunrise. Trailing deer in the fresh snow and ... a lot of walking. During these walks I could see where the animals were going, where they had been, and what they were doing. I could watch the seasonal transitions happen in real time and in real life, not on a webcam. While I enjoyed the hunt, we didn't always take a deer home. But just being out doing what we loved to do, and still do, is what keeps me doing it and formed what has recently become my hiking obsession.
I hike because I like the peace. In fact, I crave the peace and quiet. Hiking can take you away from everything and clear your mind. Getting away from it all for just a few hours to hike allows you time to quit thinking about the bills, personal turmoil, work, or whatever may be the issues facing you that day. The hike makes you focus on what is in front of you - eagles soaring overhead, new buds on the trees, flowers sending blossoms up from beneath the previous seasons decaying leaves, or a new born fawn out with its mother for a walk on wobbly legs.
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