blackwell forest preserve.

Jeremy and I really want to start being active, being outside, and overall just need a hobby. In our quest to find something we would both enjoy doing, we found images of beautiful landscapes, mountains, and waterfalls and both decided we needed to start hiking and camping.

As a child from Wisconsin, this was a no brainer to me. I grew up doing this my entire life. My family started with tent camping, and then bought a small pop-up trailer, and finally a pretty nice fifth wheel, with a pop-out living room. Almost not camping anymore. But we went almost every weekend until my brother and I hit high school and our weekends got too busy with swim meets, track meets and dance competitions to go anymore. So my dad sold out camper.

I didn’t talk to him for a month. Camping was my favorite thing to do. And after that trailer was gone, we had no reason to go, and didn’t again. College hit and then I really wasn’t home. And now, it’s time to rekindle my love of the great outdoors, so when Jeremy suggested it, I was all about it.

But we also want to hike. We need to start somewhere, so we bought a book that gives us sixty hikes within sixty miles of Chicago, knowing that if we want to tackle the big stuff, we have to start smaller first. And yesterday we started with Blacwell Forest Preserve in Winfield. It was a hot day, but the six mile hike was beautiful. The trees were gorgeous, and the path riddled with wildflowers and butterflies. And it’s a busy place! Bikers, hikers, walkers, runners, and even horse back riders. But the serenity and beauty was never lost, and people were so respectful and gracious on the trails.

We had a blast. And I have to give credit to the photographer, Jeremy, for the following photos:

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Can you spy him? Hiding in the trees?

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Our hiking companion, George. Not built to handle walks like these. Sorry, buddy.

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My favorite picture. The shapes of the trees were so cool. I love that stuff.

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