At about this time last year we started working as a family to help Gavin earn the Hiking merit badge for Scouts. The sudden increase of time at home provided a unique opportunity for us to spend more time outside hiking and enjoying what was some spectacular March and April weather.
From a few small hikes we grew into the bigger hikes including a 20 miler. After that was under our belt we moved on to camping in the woods in the “Dollar Store Challenge.” Then we spent more time hiking. And more time hiking. More camping. More hiking. Once the snow hit we started snowshoeing. We camped in the snow. Throw in some skiing and snowboarding for good measure and we spent more time than ever outdoors. As the weather has warmed back up we’ve jumped right back into it and have gone hiking with loaded up backpacks the past couple of weekends.
Looking ahead we’ve got a small handful of backpacking trips ranging from a few days to a week. Camping is being intermixed as well. We’ve got a hiking trip planned to summit a couple of mountains in Colorado and are considering a crazy one in the fall pending the first couple of backpacking trips.
All this outdoor time would likely not have happened quite to this extent. There would have been outdoor activity, but nothing quite like this. All this from the world hitting the Pause button for all of us last March.
Over the past twelve months I’ve greatly enjoyed the renewed passion for being outdoors and in nature. It’s always been there, but this past year has really awakened a sleeping giant. Each moment we spend in the woods fuels that flame even more to be out there more and more often. Hot weather, cold weather, it really doesn’t matter. The being outside to enjoy fresh air and the beauty and simplicity of the outdoors has been the music my soul has needed to hear.
This morning on our hike we saw many migrating birds. There were the calls of eagles, cranes, coots, and crows. The trees creaked in the wind. The water was moving so quickly that the sound of it was always just in the periphery. There were almost no others around and the ones who were all had huge smiles as they enjoy the same majesty we were. No cellphone calls, no texts, no distraction, only time in the outdoors. It was perfect.
As we look ahead to the next several months I am absolutely giddy with my passion for being outdoors. I am grateful for so many opportunities to scratch the itch!