Saturday, August 6, 2011


Serenova Tract
The parking lot is empty when I take to the trails.  The nearest people are in their vehicles on the opposite side of a fence flying by on the Suncoast Parkway, oblivious to the sole girl exploring the land on foot.  There is something so peaceful and yet exhilarating knowing that I and I alone occupy the surrounding few thousand acres.  Six thousand?  At least.  Eight thousand?  Probably.  It's hard to wrap my mind around sometimes. 

Today, I traveled further into Serenova's eastern portion than I ever have before.  Countless trails meandered through the scrub and the cypress trees.  Occasionally I wish I had a horse or faster mode of transportation so that I could see more, experience more in one outing.  Then, I remember that there is no better way to connect with the land than on foot.  In a way, it is like painting or drawing.  My hand makes the mark and has contact with the surface.  With running, every step I take makes that contact, and especially after being inured, I am thankful for each time my foot touches the earth.  For the first time in almost a year, I am not severely limited by my body.  I am able to push through the most overgrown paths, sprint through flowing waters, and stumble upon the remnants of a summertime prescribed fire. 

Just over an hour later, when I return to the parking lot, a car pulls up and two clean hikers hop out.  They look at me as if to say I hope I don't come back looking like that.  I smile and say good morning.  This dirt, sweat, and exhaustion is seven and a half miles of happiness.


  1. Love your blog! I wish I'd known about it when I lived in Florida!

  2. Thank you! And you can always come back for a visit :)

  3. Great post! "No better way to connect to the land...." Right on.