Good-Bye to my newest & Bestest FRIEND!

February 26, 2012

Being the organizer at Hiking Michigan, has allowed me the privilege of meeting thousands of new people regularly. People who all have an interest in Nature and the Outdoors. It makes me one of the luckiest people in S.E.Michigan, as far as I am concerned. Especially since I have met some unbelievable people, and can now call many of them my friends.

This last summer was no exception to what happens here at Hiking Michigan, year round. I met many new outdoors people and made a number of friends while at it. This Summer had a special friend come into my life as well. A Chinese student, here in this country for the year, in studies and understanding. Xueting, has made a big difference in my life. What she has showed my as a creative Artist, and what she has explained to me about the beauty of the people of China, has changed much in my life. I am not sure I would understand things the way I do at this moment, if it where not for her sharing with me, the knowledge of her customs and people, and the creative nature of herself.

It was interesting how meeting Xueting, came about. On a summer Hike at Holly Recreation area, I had arrived early to collect firewood for a late night campfire scheduled. After collecting piles of wood, I was pouring water over myself along the parking area, cleaning up from all the work and sweat, collecting some nice wood. As I was washing up, Xueting pulled up in her car, looking for Hiking Michigan. Now……this was some 2 hours before the Hike was to start, and I was the only person at the meeting place, parking lot. Xueting pulled up, introduced herself and we sat and talking about the Hiking group and the many Cool people that make up Hiking Michigan as a whole.

I was very surprised to learn that Xueting had just GOOGLED “PARKS” in S.E.Michigan and came upon our group and on her own, alone in this country, came out for one of our scheduled Hikes. AMAZING! to me. There where not to many Hikes she has not attended from this first Hike this last summer of 2011.

Now…..she is returning to her country this week. I have learned much in the many conversations with Xueting. Her honesty about her country and people have taught me alot. Much more then the contaminated media has portrayed China to be on the world stage. There is China the government, and China the people. Not alot different then the USA the people, and the USA our government.

I cannot express how much I will miss Xueting and her talks of life, China and her family. I can only hope that some day I may get the opportunity to visit her in her country, or she will return here to the USA. She has made an impression on me that will never be erased, and I am most appreciative of her sharing & honesty. I am honored to have been and will always be your friend, Xueting. May life guide you down the best of Trails and may Mother always be there to help you in cross-trail decisions. 🙂

Here are some photos, taken by Kim, Cindy, Rich and others, from the recent Pontiac Lake Hike and Good Bye Dinner for Xueting. Lots of snow at the Park and lots of smiles too. 🙂

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