Slate Run, 18 of 19 and a 5K for K9 Friends of the Shelter

Slate Run Park, 18 of 19

Dan and I had signed up to walk in the Friends of the Shelter event, as we had for the past 2 years. You might recall Kevin Bacon, the pig who walked with his person, whom we met in 2018. But this year, we could walk anywhere we wanted and still get the T-shirt and still benefit the injured and sick dogs in the shelter. We each paid our $35, and I bought a few raffle tickets.

Slate Run was next on our agenda, as the Kokomo and Bobolink Trails were fairly flat and grassy. Dan’s knee has still not healed, and I guess my back never will, but for now, we’re avoiding steep hills and gravel, not only for us, but also for Dora.

Our hike was the most peaceful of all so far, featuring wet lands, grasslands, and meadows, and Dan’s car was the only one in the parking lot and remained that way until we were back. It felt like we were walking through our own land, checking on the plants and birds. I guess the Purple Martins like this location, because we saw many bird condos. I wanted to check one out, but the grasses were too thick and tall to get to them, but Dan took a picture. I wondered if they were all inside, huddled against the ensuing rain. The sky was overcast, but the rain didn’t appear until after we got out of the CVS, where I had been shot, first in one arm and then the other, one for flu, and one for shingles. (BTW, have you done that yet?)

One of the most unusual features of this park was a little front porch, out in the middle of the meadow, with wicker chairs set up in a semi circle, as if for a show. And there was no house attached to the porch. It looked like a nice place to look out over the meadow and enjoy the show of the wildlife. As with many of the parks, we enjoyed walking on a board walk, if for nothing else, a change under foot. This park had a little pond too, but it definitely needed some way to aerate, as it was covered with algae.

We were out there for over 2 hours, but we somehow put in 3.4 miles. We stop a lot to take a picture, read the signs, and pause for a drink of water. Sometimes, we don’t need water, but when Dan spots a park bench, or I ask him to keep a look out for one, we take advantage of a brief rest for my back, and Dora rarely turns down a few laps out of her water bowl. In many parks, Dan also read the “dedication in memory” signs on the benches, and for a moment or two, we think about what a thoughtful way to remember a loved one it is.

One more to go to complete our mission, and then we’ll either have to find a new fitness goal or we’ll try some of the trails we missed this time around.

Mary Hiland

Author of

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir


Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life

Available at


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