2018 started off with frigid temperatures.
But the cold temps were no match for Kathie and John Buell, who came prepared for the cold.
“We hiked all weekend so we dressed in layers and wore thermal socks and have to or three different layers on so we actually get warm while we are hiking,” Kathie Buell said.
19 people ushered in 2018 at Turkey Run State Park, hiking a little over a mile on two trails.
The annual First Day Hikes takes place at all of Indiana’s State Parks and gives folks a chance to learn about the parks origins, while enjoying nature and each others company.
And for the Buell’s ringing in the New Year is all about creating new experiences together.
“We like ending the year and beginning the year on a fresh start,” Kathie Buell said. “Forget what’s happened over the year and start over. Leave any bad things behind and start out with something very enjoyable that you can talk about.”
“And with the cold weather hiking, if you hike year round you can hike a trail all for seasons and see something different walking the same route,” John Buell said.
Due to the cold, first time trail leader, Lindsey Harrell, didn’t know what to expect on this years hike.
“I had a feeling that some people would show,” Lindsey Harrell said. “I honestly didn’t think we’d have as many as we did. So that was great, but I was preparing for a small group.”
And the best part of the New Years tradition, is starting the new year on the right foot.
We like to do the first day hikes to start people off on the right foot with the parks,” Harrell said. “We like to see people get out into the area in to nature. It’s just a good way to connect with natural resources in your state and we like to bring everyone together when we can and bring in the New Year.”
The Buells have hiked at 31 of Indiana’s State Parks together.
The last park they have to hit is Shakamak State Park, which they hope to hike in the New Year.
Now last year more than 60 people showed up to walk, but the temperature one year ago today was in the 40’s.