Happy Trails to you til’ we meet again.  Happy Trails to you, keep smiling on til’ then.”     ~                      Roy and Dale Rogers

I guess most of us have our favorite trail, whether it is a world renowned path such as the uphill hike to Yosemite Falls or the Kaibab Trail that winds down through geologic Grand Canyon time.

Our local trails get a lot of use from walkers, joggers, speed skaters, bicyclists, and in more rural areas, equestrian riders.  We are attracted by waterfalls, familiar sights, and people and pets we expect to meet along special places close to home.

Trails come in many forms:  There are established trails we expect in parks and we pave some walkways to allow access to everyone.  Old rutted roads, we call them jeep trails, are common here in the eastern Cascades realm.  Some are well rocked and therefore can be enjoyed year-round, while others are muddy messes at about this February time of year, yet serve us well as ski or snowshoe trails for at least a few moments of winter.

Stewards know their land’s trails.  They’ve seen them in all seasons, have probably spent time ensuring they are not causing erosion and as a result, are there to provide maintenance as needed.  Stewards pull out their binoculars when wildlife appear and a camera to capture beauty and wonder.

Trails are foot access to magical scenic turnouts: a pond, a viewpoint, a hawk’s nest or the first spring flower.  Or they just might be the way home as we insist upon leaving our vehicle away from the house and begin and end each day with exercise and a path to our loved ones.  ~