Microadventure: Swords Park Trail, Billings, Montana

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Adventure, Dogs, Family, Montana, Outdoors

I mentioned that my son was in town visiting me in my last post.  Yesterday, we, my son and I, took it easy for most of the day. I think we were both still recovering from snow skiing.  It’s not that snow skiing is hard, it’s that I used muscles I have not used in a long time.

We ate lunch at the Great Harvest Bread Company, which is one of my favorite local eateries in Billings, Montana.  If you like soup, sandwiches, and fresh made bread, it’s a great place.  The employees are very friendly and true to form, we were offered a slice of bread while waiting for our sandwiches to be made.

Late in the afternoon we visited Swords Park Trail on top of the Rimrocks.  The City of Billings, Montana is interesting in that on the north side of town there are sandstone rock cliffs that rise up over the city several hundred feet.  These cliff formations extend 18 miles across town.  I am told that from a geologic perspective these formations are quite rare and unique in the world.

Swords Park Trail offers a smooth, asphalt walking path which is a few miles in length.  I was actually surprised at how pretty the walk was.  From the top of the Rimrocks, on the path, one can look down on the City of Billings.  On a clear day, one can see the Beartooth Mountains in the distance, including the ski runs we skied just a few days ago.

Once again, I want to bring attention to spending time with family by walking.  Walking is good for the mind, body, and soul.  There is a maxim that I have lived by for many years: Solviture Ambulando; it is solved by walking.

So many of life’s challenges and problems can be solved by walking outside on the land.  When we walk together with family, we talk, we pause, we reflect, we respond thoughtfully.

I don’t think there are any magic bullets out there.  The magic sauce is in walking with family, slowly, dreamily, and with no time constraints.

My little dog, Polar Bear, walked with us.  She enjoyed her quiet time of walking on the ancient sandstone rock formations, too.

Every microadventure on Swords Park Trail ends well with a stop by Lucky’s Market for dinner.

It was a slow and mellow day.  Slow to get up, breakfast and coffee made, and a slow walk on the Rimrocks.  If there’s one thing I have learned the hard way over the last year and a half, it’s that comfort in silence is hard won.

I think Blaise Pascal had it right, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Of course, it’s always better to be surrounded by family and friends and in their presence, but we can still honor silence together and move with purpose, with more ease, thinking before we speak.

We could slow down, and walk cliffs together, with dogs and sons, at sunset, and dream, only talking to our loved ones when so prompted by a unique, warm impulse rising in our chest.

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