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Being cooped up all day in cubicle land is not good for the spirit, particularly during seasons when "nice weather" on the weekends, or when it is still light outside, is not a given. As middle age advances rapidly, my mother's admonishment that life is too short to spend inside on a beautiful day takes on a whole new urgency.

Fortunately, I live in an area that loves its parks ... and yesterday I took advantage of hiking a small portion of them. These pictures were all taken between Lake Hiawatha and Minnehaha Park, a very small corner of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. This area was sacred to the area's original Native Americans (not hard to figure that one out); it was a tourist destination since forever, and has been part of the park system and planning since the 1880s. With the recent release of the 1940 census--which asks questions about participation in programs like CCC and WPA--it seems important to note that work done by those programs on the trails is a grand example of what can be done by putting Americans back to work.

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Lake Hiawatha is one the smallest lakes in the system, but it is still very pretty. If you look closely, you can see the Minneapolis skyline 5 miles away.

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No, I mean it!

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Look closer.

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Donald and Daisy

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Hiawatha and Nokomis

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Still in a drought

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ps, it is NOT too early for sunblock Props to Ojibwa for reminding us to look at trees.

Originally posted to klompendanser on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.

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