Your Neighborhood

Bellevue’s Kelsey Creek Farm

Quick Facts:

Location: Throughout the Northwest

Land Agency: families, HOAs, sundry municipalities and park districts

Distance: as far and as long as you like, but do it regularly

Elevation Gain: elevated mood

Contact: Your friends and neighbors (from a safe distance) and share some good news

Notes: Dogs encouraged, no fees, no groups, stay six feet apart, smile and be kind to all you meet,

Access: From Your Front Door start roaming in any direction

Good to know: kid-friendly, dog-friendly, practice Leave No Trace and Love Thy Neighbor principles

Now more than ever we need the rejuvenating powers of nature, the outdoors, and being connected to a community. During this unprecedented time we cannot let despair, anxiety, and fear permeate in our minds, families, and communities.  Get outside!

Yes, I know while this pandemic sweeps the country we are under shelter in place orders and it is irresponsible and selfish to head to our favorite backcountry trails for myriad reasons. So, now more than ever is the perfect time to discover—or rediscover our own neighborhoods and local parks and trails.

Mount Vernon’s Riverfront Walk

Exercise is an essential function. It’s good for our physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Practicing good social distancing skills (no large groups and staying at least six feet apart) head out your front door to your neighborhood and your local parks and trails.

Slow down and appreciate what is around you. New flower blossoms. New bird song. Croaking frogs. Appreciate the breeze in your face. Let the sun kiss you or the rain bathe you. Be dazzled by cloud arrangements and savor brilliant sunsets and sunrises.

Longview’s Lake Sacajawea Park

Turn inward. Count your blessings. Commit to being a better person. Commit to being a positive force during this time of crisis. Connect to your Creator. Take time to get to know your neighbors (from a safe distance). On yesterday’s run—a 4.5 mile course I have been doing for 12 years now, I stopped to get to know a person I had only given quick hellos to in the past. We had a great conversation. It is reassuring to talk to others during this time of crisis. My daily runs have been becoming longer lately—not the distance—but the duration. I am slowing down to notice things for the first time and stopping along the way to exchange more than quick salutations. My time out of my house on local roads and trails has helped rejuvenate me and instill hope in me that we will get through this.

The sun will once again rise tomorrow. Get outside and enjoy another day. Get outside and keep yourself healthy. Get outside and be a positive force in the world.

 

Craig Romano is an award winning author of more than 20 books. For detailed information on local trails and parks throughout the Puget Sound, pick up a copy of one or more of his Urban Trails booksBellingham, Everett, Seattle, Eastside, Kitsap, Tacoma and Olympia. Order online from Amazon, Mountaineers Books, or your neighborhood bookstore. Thanks for supporting my writing so that I may continue to bring you the most accurate and trusted trail information possible.

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