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Every once in a while, even though you feel good on your oh so good couch, sometimes it is nice to get on outside. Now, I know I sound like an incredibly fit person bragging about myself on one of those inspirational commercials that try to get you outside, but backfire and make you feel bad, but to be honest, today, I just feel that way. I know that is, like, not much of a good thing to say at the moment, considering right now I am sitting at my computer, typing away. But, I did feel that way. Earlier, my whole family went on a hike in a place in Haddonfield.

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Everyone was feeling a bit iffy about going, referring to the harsh, cold air dwelling around outside, but I insisted. We also took my little and fearsome little dog, Finis. Even though the cold was definitely going to be an issue, I felt a small spark at the thought of going out, and spending an hour in the wilderness. Some snow was still on the ground, so that would make everything look extra pretty. But, that really wasn’t the point. Neither was that sentence, because there was no real point.

Let’s skip a couple of the enthralling details, because no-one wants to hear that. I’m just kidding! I’d rather skip the journey, so now, let’s focus on the destination. Actually, when we just got out of the car, a world of wonder came in to focus. Everyone’s moods were lifted to a point where if they were to be lifted any higher, the universe would collapse upon itself. The snow rested beautifully and comfortably on the limbs of the trees. A nice, serene pathway was carved out through a party of trees. The lake stood frozen, but was yet a sight to see. There was nothing that wasn’t perfect. And for this time, that was a good thing. Of course, we took a few minutes to take in our surroundings. They were just so beautiful, in any universe, it would be impossible not to. Then, I guess you could say we took off. There were so many wonders lying hidden in the forest, it was impossible to know where to start. But, apparently, our dog did. He pulled my mom over a bush, and that opened up another little area surrounding the lake for us. There were many trees, and they made it hard for us to see the lake itself. But we managed, and it was truly beautiful.  We ventured along the new path that opened up, and after a little while, it seemed as my brother had found something. “Whoa, Charlie! Come look at this tree, it looks like a dragon claw or something!” He called out. Of course, I quickly followed his voice, and what I saw was so overwhelming, it took me a minute to adjust to it. It looked like a normal tree on one side, but on the other, the roots seemed to form an eagle talon. It was massive, and it surprised me. Here’s a picture of it:

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That inspired me to keep roaming around the forest, because if we could find this, there was sure to be many more wonders waiting to be found. So, we did enough waiting around! We stumbled back on path, and kept exploring. The idea of a walk through the woods makes you just think about a small, polluted lake with a couple of trees surrounding it. But, today I’ve realized that when you get there, you realize it is a whole lot different from that. In a good way, though.

After a couple of minutes of trees, I saw something carved on to a tree. I urged everyone to come see what it is, because I was curious. I ran over to the tree, and saw, well, I saw something. I couldn’t think of a good descriptive word to describe something wonderful. But what I saw was, well, wonderful. And cute. There was a series of letters engraved on the surface of the tree. At the top, it read “Mike & Gab,” with a heart around it, and below it, there were the names, “Will, You, Mardy, Me, Yes.” Those seemed to be odd names, until I finally pieced together the meaning. It didn’t say “Mardy!” It said, “Marry!” It was a marriage proposal! And the words, “Yes,” were carved under it! If only Mardy could have seen this!

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My yearn for wonders to be found, and adventures to be uncovered, only grew the more adventure we had. But, you really can’t say that is a bad thing, for we were in a forest full of it. After a minute or two of, trees, again, we saw ahead that there was a small bridge connecting one half of the lake to the other. Also, there was a large, hollowed out log that could have been used as a bridge as well. I, was going to use the bridge. Any sensible person would. But my brother, Marshall, had an even larger thirst for adventure than I did. He refused to take the bridge, and decided on using the log. He jumped up on it, and swiftly ran across, without showing the slightest bit of worry or concern. Watching him made me feel bad, too bad. The thought of crossing that log was daunting, but the vision of myself, swiftly running across the log, overruled any thought of doing it the thoughtful and sensible way. I stood on the log, but realization hit me, because it would hurt if I fell off of it. My vision started zooming in and out, and when it came in to focus, I was a nervous wreck! Slowly, I fell down to my knees, and slowly inched across the log. I let out a nervous, “Eh!” each time my leg slipped to the side, and sometimes, just because I didn’t feel safe.  I spent a couple more minutes crossing the log, only to be greeted at the end by my brother, who said, “What took you so long?”

Shaken up by the log, my eyes to adventure were closed for a couple of minutes, because I was only focusing on the fact that I had survived. But, there was another odd thing to be uncovered, so my eyes would be opened soon. I skipped along the path, gleeful as usual. The forest had just made me so happy. But, I saw something… odd. There was a little tree that was especially long and twisty, but it went over my head, and made a complete circle to where it started. It was a tree portal! Of course, being myself, I tricked myself in to believing a story about the portal. Well, you didn’t ask for it! Here goes:

Once, there was a little boy named Harold. Harold had many hairs. But one day, he went in to the forest to pick firewood for his family. Something was off once he heard teenagers (ugh) say something about a tree. Harold touched the tree, and was sucked in to it. To this day, he sucks in anyone who walks past the portal tree so he could live a life like the boy he was…

Even though that was short, and ridiculous, I somewhat believed it. Now, of course I didn’t want to go through the portal, knowing that Harold would suck me in to the tree. Slowly, I inched towards the portal, and when you think I could get any more unreal, I did. “Harold,” I said. “Please don’t suck me in to the tree. I don’t really want to, at least not now, or ever, because being a tree, doesn’t sound very fun, like, at all.” I smiled, and took a deep breath. Then I charged through the portal, and was thankful for my life when I realized I wasn’t a tree. I also realized how full of it I was, but I still felt bad for Harold, the boy who was sucked in to a tree, and had many hairs.

For hours, I could keep droning on and on about what we saw, and all of our countless adventures. But, I guess I will have to end it on this note, because the only stories left to tell are about sap icicles, and leaves stapled to the inside of a tree. I hope I have inspired you to take a walk through the woods, or at least nagged you enough to want to do it. If you do, I hope you will have as good a time as we did. And if you don’t, I at least hope you are having a fun time, most likely sitting on your couch.

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