Walking Journal / Walking

Walk 15 – Blackacre Nature Preserve and Historic Homestead

. 2 min read . Written by Russell Smith
Walk 15 – Blackacre Nature Preserve and Historic Homestead

Breath is LIFE!

Despite growing up in Louisville and having returned 11 years ago, I had not heard of this place until a few months ago. When I decided to take these 30 walks, I knew Blackacre would be one.

I did not make the best shoe choice. I wore my low-top hiking shoes, but the trails proved rougher than expected. I should have worn my new high-top hiking boots – still light, but more ankle and side-to-side foot support.

A few walks ago, I began bringing my walking stick with me. It forces me to slow down. I can go only so fast when I need to move the stick with each step.

Arriving here, my stomach felt bloated. Possibly that was due to my breakfast choices, but it probably had more to do with the elevated pressures in and between my internal organs. I feel this distension regularly. My exercise output doesn’t seem to diminish in these situations, but I perceive it as a shortness of breath. Taking some slow, deep breaths in, very deep in, and then slowly but forcefully pushing the air totally out, makes me feel better. It also strangely makes my stomach feel less tumid. I performed several of these deep breathing moments throughout my walk. By the time I returned to my car, I felt better. My stomach felt and looked normal. As my friend Dan Hunt says, "Breath is LIFE!"

I walked the Waterfall Trail and the Sunrise Meadow Trail. I used the Merlin app to identify bird songs – Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, American Robin, American Crow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Tufted Titmouse and Red-shouldered Hawk – all heard in 10 minutes. I felt grateful for this lil app for the woods.

I saw one person the entire time – at the beginning, in the parking lot. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of our days, it’s hard to remember how unpopulated America is.