As I was enjoying the recent warm weather spell this cute rhyme, which I modified, came to mind:

“Spring has sprung, the grass has riz.

Let’s take a hike Where birdies is.”

And where might that be? This time of year that might be anywhere there’s a body of water. I immediately conjure up visions of memorable hikes on several easy trails not far from home. Just last week my stepson Michael and I did the 3.1-mile Lakeside Trail loop at Hills Creek State Park, throwing in a short side trip on the Yellow Birch Trail leading to an unusual watertop view of Tauscher Pond.

Another jaunt that combines the pleasures of hiking with bird watching is the family friendly Railroad Grade Trail between Ives Run and Hills Creek Road. This can be an out-and-back of 5.0 miles or a 2.5 mile one-way nearly level walk by parking a vehicle at each end.

The 3.35-mile trail around Lyman Run Lake in Potter County is another beauty. Although somewhat more difficult than the above two, you’ll find plenty of outdoorsy points of interest to hold your interest.

At the expense of exceeding space availability, following is a celebration of growing older that my hiking friend Larry Holtzapple shared with me. If you, along with Larry and I, are growing older (my odometer hits 86 this July), enjoy while you can.

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short – enjoy it.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear (your best clothing). Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s; we’d grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need
  42. The best is yet to come...
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Happy trails.

Daryl Warren has been a serious hiker for many years.