We were down here three years before we did our first hike in Jacksonville Forest Park. Maybe because there were so many other “bigger” hikes to do first. Maybe because we were being hiking snobs – as in: it’s just a “local” park with “short” hikes. 🙄 Well, that first hike soon blossomed into a love affair 🥰 with this little park which sees us going back there many times a year in all seasons. The trails always go to the same places but the scenery constantly changes. Water flows (or not), leaves flourish or fall, wildflowers appear, mushrooms erupt or rot, views are there (or not), critters come and go. It has become a place of both wonder and refuge. To say it has been an godsend during the recent plague years would be a vast understatement.
And so, with yet another winter of discontent enveloping us, we again sought solace in the Forest. The exuberant rain and snow storms of recent days have given (seasonal) life to it’s little creeks and cascades. So we looked for those, along with little bits and pieces on the forest floor. In was, in many ways (but not all), a repeat of the first hike we’d done here in 2021. Today’s hike was its usual restorative self. We just wish that 2022 was getting on with being better than its predecessors. 🤔