When the invitation to participate in the 2022 Fish & Loaves Happy Soles 5K Run/Walk/Bike event arrived in my e-mail inbox on January 27th, I registered that very night. It was nice to think warm thoughts and plan ahead to June 5th on that nasty Winter evening with 25 mph wind gusts, single-digit wind chills and snow forecast for the next day – ugh.
The e-mail from Ellen Pfafflin, the Happy Soles 5K Coordinator, asked entrants to submit taglines for the event’s tee-shirt and the winner would gain free entry to the 2023 event. I e-mailed back my tagline, admitting it was a wee bit corny. My submission is the title of today’s post. “Move Against Hunger” was the tagline on our official 2022 swag.
The beneficiary of our collective efforts is a food pantry in Taylor, Michigan about two miles down the road from Heritage Park, the venue for the 5K event. In 2021, Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry distributed over 1.7 million pounds of food to 21,634 neighbors in need. In this COVID era, I wasn’t keen on attending the 5K event in person and happily you could opt-in virtually, so I was happy to do so.
I follow Heritage Park and the Botanical Gardens on Facebook, so I know what events are taking place at this venue throughout the year. There were two events scheduled the first weekend of June: Saturday, June 4th was an all-day Relay for Life event and Sunday, June 5th was the Fish & Loaves 5K event. So that was a conundrum if I wanted to avoid a crowd.
Due to the erratic nature of our weather these days, I decided to go the weekend before the event. The Sunday of Memorial Day was picture perfect, so I did two, count ‘em two, trips around Heritage Park’s historical area, then headed to the Botanical Gardens, which in Spring was still a work in progress, then I wandered around through the Gardens’ new rustic trail. So, yes I did the requisite amount of miles and then some. (I began the day with two laps at Council Point Park.) Maybe next year I’ll be back in person.
You’ll recognize my favorite picture-taking spots and I’ll identify them for the newcomers. My quest for ducklings yielded no Mallard munchkins and to be honest, I saw zero Mallards at Coan Lake. I suspect the Mamas were sitting on nests and the Papas were close by. Even the geese were few and far between.
So tie up those walking shoes and walk along with me.
There’s always lots to see as you near the covered bridge. Coan Lake is usually teeming with waterfowl – not today, just some turtles sunning themselves, who freaked out and plopped into the water when I approached. Later, my second trip around, they had resurfaced when they thought the coast was clear and I had left for good. There was one surprise visitor as you’ll see below.
Once over the covered bridge, there were a few goslings near their parents. They were too young to be the goslings that I wrote about before, first with the eggs in the nest, then toddling after their parents. I focused on this one gosling as it eyeballed me and I had to smile at the little head tilt.
After the second trip around the historical village, I headed to the Botanical Gardens …
… and I took a little detour to explore this small rustic area behind the Botanical Gardens.
Postscript: Ellen, an avid walker herself, advised that there were 12 bikers and 128 runners/walkers that participated on-site or virtually. I was happy to participate in such a worthwhile endeavor. I gave you the facts for 2021, but in general the Fish & Loaves food pantry serves more than 1.6 million pounds of food per year to some 3,000 households in seven communities in Wayne County, where 17% of all residents and 26% of children live in poverty. That is higher than the state’s average of 13% for both populations — all residents and children, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.