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Stairway in the Green | by Kate Kinley
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Stairway in the Green

This past weekend I went to a family reunion in Illinois...and directly across the street from where I was staying was Starved Rock State Park. I spent hours upon hours hiking there. It was an absolutely fantastic place. I went late in the afternoon on Friday, when only a few people were there...early in the morning (8:00) on Saturday where we hiked three miles and saw very very few people...and even earlier sunday morning, where we didn't see a soul.

Those are the times that I live for- when I can hike through the green lush forests, climb around canyons, explore vast crevices, throw my arms wide and absorb the overwhelming height and scenery after climbing hundreds of stairs.

I accepted long ago that life can be ugly and cruel, but every now and then I'm reminded that it has the potential to be beautiful.

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Taken on July 29, 2012