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Feel the Trails…..Sense your surroundings

September 26, 2012

Alright……Be the Ball……sense the goal line, and so on. All sounds silly. But there is much to be said about sensing your surroundings while out in the Forests of Michigan, and trusting those feelings. The trusting part is as important as the ability to sense the forest around you while out on the Trails.

At our last Hike, a regular and experienced Hiker came wandering up while we where already at the FEN area. Because of the traffic nightmare we all ran into on our way to the Park, everyone arrived at all different unexpected times.

Well this Hiker had even missed the second group leaving the parking area late. She non the less, took her map and headed out on the Trails on her own. She was very happy at her abilities to find the Group at the FEN. But I could see it in her face, that she was even more happy to have trusted her abilities, remained calm and actually enjoyed her private time on the Trails, getting to the FEN.

I believe that it was her confidence in herself that was her biggest asset on her solo Hike. Her fear was not doing the talking, her faith in her many Trails experiences and just those calm moments at trail intersections, allowed her to make rational and intelligent decisions and arrive at the FEN to meet the group already there. While still enjoying her adventure there.

I have tried to tell everyone for years about my personal experiences, alone out in the outdoors of Michigan. Those times when it is just you and the Lake. Those times when you become the frog in the pond and the Forest excepts you as part of the whole thing. The best things happen when YOU are not the odd thing in the outdoors. When you become just another tree or frog at pond-side, the critters wander up, Birds do not seem to have that fear any longer and your outdoor experiences can become lifetime, one of a kind memories.

This all starts with ones ability to head out on the trails and not just follow a map, but sense all your surroundings. Is there a lake to the right of the trail. Yes…..and it is due west of the trail. Is there a stream flowing into that lake?  Yes…..and it is coming from a ridge-line that runs along the east side of the trail. When those types of common observations, and the fear removal becomes common place, then many of those senses and natural skills just come to the forefront. Nothing is blocking them from doing so.

Trust yourself!  Cation is a good thing, but most of the time…..Fear is not. Being prepared with a Map and/or compass is a good backup. But taking notice of your surroundings and directions is even more important. Ask our North/Central director Mark when he wanders the unmapped “HAY-MARSH” we see so many wonderful pictures from him from. He uses his senses, observational skills, and is calm of mind and spirit, to be able to take in all the info around him that tells him where he is at, without a map or compass. It is his state of mind and soul that produces the pictures we see from his wanderings. He just finds those spots. just steps into those rare situations, and becomes part of his HAY-MARSH. It all reflects in his photography, discoveries and experiences there.

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