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What I love most about this place we live is that there is always a new place, always a place with no people, always green and water and sweet air.

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Sometimes you just have to look a little further, venture someplace you don’t know.

The dogs and I have five places we usually run, and in all five, for most of the year, we have the trails to ourselves.  This time of year, the two river trails are busy with summer people, and the other three trails, beyond the gates on tree company land, were closed to entry two weeks ago because of elevated fire danger.

So we’ve been going to the river trails in the early morning before the summer people have had their breakfast, but a late shift Friday had us out in the afternoon with no place to go, so we went further up Larch Mountain, into the National Forest land, to find a place.

At milepost 9, we found a gate with paved road and walked in.

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Well, I walked.  The dogs exuberated.  (No, it’s not a word.)  (But it should be.)

I expected, it being Larch Mountain and all, and Larch Mountain having a large network of trails, that we would come across a trail that would take us off into the woods, but two miles of paved, and another mile of pack gravel before we ran into a Bull Run Watershed No Trespassing sign, and nary a trail.

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Still.  Beautiful little creeks that those of us in the party with four nimble legs could get down to for a cool down, wildflowers by the road, gorgeous forest, and quiet.

Venture out someplace you don’t know.  There’s something there, I promise.

Here, have a smile.

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