Today I had three work assignments to complete. The first one took longer than it should, because I had to wait around for fifteen minutes before I was assisted. I was in and out of the second one in ten minutes. Then I relied on Mapquest directions to get me to the third; the directions turned out to be inaccurate, and I drove almost five miles in the wrong direction before I realized the mistake. Once I arrived at the location, though, everything went according to plan.
As I was driving home I realized I really wanted to get some fresh air and exercise. The temperature was brisk, but doable with gloves and ear protection. While I drove I tried to figure out where I wanted to go. Eventually I realized that with only a slight detour I could hit a small county park just a couple of miles from my house. I hadn't been there for many years, and it would be a nice change of pace from my usual walking places.
Ohlendorf West Park has been there since we moved to the area 30 years ago. It had a Metro (bus) park and ride lot, one athletic field, and green space. Much of the green space was taken away several years ago when the county built an Emergency Communications Center, but I was betting there was still some type of walking trail. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw a sidewalk and small playground over to the left. I parked the car and walked north on the sidewalk, which paralleled the main street. Several minutes later I reached a wood-chipped trail that turned off to the right through the trees, with an official sign indicating the trail was .81 miles long. I decided to take it.
I wasn't too far down the path when I saw a large green metal structure. A little farther down was another. As a matter of fact, there were 11 of them in total. Looking closer, I realized that each structure was a piece of exercise equipment! When I got back to the start of the trail, I noticed a sign that indicated the stations I passed were part of a HealthBeat Outdoor Fitness System. I didn't stop to use any of the machines, but looking at the title of each station I realized that if you did each of them you'd have a complete body workout. (Something to remember for down the line.)
I had the area completely to myself, except for a couple of squirrels and a deer I saw as its white rump disappeared into the trees. Eventually the trail split off into two directions, but it was a large loop that cut across an electrical line right of way before it went through more trees. There were plenty of benches to sit on if you needed a break, but I thought it was too cold to stop. When I made it back to the parking lot I was pleased to see I was almost at 5,000 steps--half of my goal for the day.
Five years ago today: It's Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas