You Meet the Most Amazing People on the Trail

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Carlos Fernandez of Plainfield made his own walking stick! Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Watchung Reservation Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Watchung Reservation Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Cosplayers Will Scarlett and Robin Hood, from Westfield, in Watchung Reservation Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Ed Purcell explains how to interpret the blazes at South Mountain Reservation. Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Jennifer Popper and Carlos Fernandez Credits: Jennifer Popper
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In South Mountain Reservation Credits: Jennifer Popper
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Risa Olinsky, a Freewalker, just published her first book, "Why Walk?" It's available on Amazon! Credits: Jennifer Popper
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The weather cooperated this weekend, so I went for more than one hike. After all, there are only just over fifty days before my walk to Maine commences, so why not.

This Saturday, some friends dragged me away from housecleaning (thank you!) for a quick jaunt through Watchung Reservation.  While we were there, we ran into two individuals from Westfield; the cosplayers introduced themselves as Will Scarlett and Robin Hood!

My friends and I took a different route on this day, not venturing near Lake Surprise like I had on my last trip to the reservation a week ago.  But just as I had noticed then, we saw many trees down.  It was clear that the winds of the recent nor'easters took a toll on the gentle giants.

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On Sunday, I met up with some Freewalkers friends.  We met up near the dog park in South Mountain Reservation, with a crowd of maybe fifteen, and some new folks sprinkled in.

The trail was, not surprisingly, exceptionally muddy at points, and this hike revealed many downed trees, too.  But everyone who walked was a good sport, and the morning was enjoyable and allowed me to get in about 5.6 miles.

One of the best things of the day, besides getting to spend time with friends, was meeting Carlos.  He, too, lives in Plainfield, and he is a proud veteran. 

Carlos and I chatted about the Queen City, and some of the challenges that the Hispanic community faces in our town. He also spoke highly about his son, who he said is a new officer with the Plainfield Police Division.

This amazing person, it was his first hike with Freewalkers; it was his first hike at all!  He made, sanded, and engraved his own walking stick, emblazoned with an ode to the day's walking group.  It was incredible.  I look forward to seeing him around town, and on future walks!

You never know who you will meet on the trail, but no matter what, it will be someone who is open to the outdoors!  So what are you waiting for?

A walk on the East Coast Greenway from New Jersey to Maine.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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