First Day Hike: Milford State Park

First Day Hike: Milford State Park

As I mentioned in my New Years post, I’ve decided to take a 52 Hike Challenge in 2017. Nature and exercise have always been two things that have really grounded me when life gets a little squirrelly, so I decided to challenge myself to do 52 new hikes over the course of this year. Personally, I can’t wait to see how this experience will grow and change me.

I love hiking because its hard enough physically to clear my head, without being something that I feel pressure to be the best at like running or lifting weights. There’s no competition with myself for a new “personal best” or one rep maximum; hiking is just something that I can do because there’s an inherent joy in doing it. It is truly meditative – I picture my heart tied to my dogs’ tails like a little red balloon. When I see them run around and get dirty and just be dogs, I see my heart bouncing along, free in the wind and, in that moment, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. All the other stuff completely fades. I listen to my heart beat – steady and working without being frantic. I feel the heat of my muscles fulfilling their intended purpose without the pain of pushing them past their limits. In these moments, I can bend without breaking and breathe without gasping. It is the most gratifying and natural high.

Have I convinced you to take the challenge with me yet? 😉 It’s not too late to start!

I completed my first hike of the challenge on January 1st – my first day hike, if you will. In order to encourage everyone to get their first day hikes in, Kansas State Parks waived their admission fee on New Years Day. That was pretty sweet of them to do, so Troy and I loaded up the dogs and headed on up to our closest park – Milford State Park.

We completed Crystal Trail – which is a 2.1 mile loop through a wooded area next to Milford Lake. We all had a blast. The dogs had so much fun playing in the mud by the lake and exploring the trail. Overall, great way to kick off the New Year. Here are some of my favorite moments from our first day hike:

Are you taking a 52 Hike Challenge or challenging yourself in another way during 2017? Share your hikes or other challenges with me by using the Barefoot Tumbleweed hashtag, #TumbleweedRollin whenever you share your adventures on social media!

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Happy New Year and cheers to lots more trails and lots more adventures.