What a generic name for a post… but these words are ones I have come to love.
I didn’t used to be an out-doorsie person. I was usually the first one to complain how hot it was, how many bugs there were, or how cold I was. I also have a difficult time keeping myself warm in winter which deterred me many times from venturing into the white fluffiness.
It was a sibling tradition for the three of us to spend at least one week of the summer in a tent in the backyard. It wasn’t possible for us to be together in the summer of 2017 so I decided to carry on with the tradition but put a little twist to it.
Last summer from May to September I slept outside every single night I possibly could and I loved it! I don’t just mean loved it, I mean LOVED it!
I started out sleeping just on a mattress on the deck with a tarp over my sleeping bag in case it rained. That was awesome, until one night I opened my eyes and saw a little fox face peeping at me from the deck steps. It scared me really bad! Of course the fox ran away as swiftly as only a fox can run when I sat up and yelled at it, but the image stayed with me and scared me so bad I moved into a little two person tent. With the tent I didn’t have to bring in my bed every day and I had protection from mosquitoes.
I missed opening my eyes and seeing the stars right away but still I loved my tiny living space and moved pretty much everything but my clothes and office into it. My favorite thing to do was wake up to the sound of the birds and sit in the door of my tent drinking hot coffee and soaking in the morning sunrise. Oh I will never forget that…
The day I knew without a doubt I loved hiking was the day mom’s cousin Barb took me hiking with her in Writing on Stone Provincial Park.
It was an epic day on which I learned many lessons:
- I LOVE hiking
- Drink water! If you don’t you faint.
- Always pack food, even if it just something little.
- You can do more than one hike in one day!
- Get fit before attempting hoodoo climbing otherwise you might be stuck.
Thank the Lord I did manage to drink enough water to stop myself mid-faint and I didn’t get stuck although it took me two or three tries to get out. Barb and I are very similar in some ways and it was such a joy to spend time just the two of us doing something we both love.
After this day I knew I loved hiking and started doing more solo hikes on the Milk River Ridge. Solo hiking is wonderful, but I am also blessed to have two friends who love hiking and a very special friend who also enjoys hiking and wants to hike the Triple Crown of Waterton with me sometime in the coming year.
Someone who inspires me in my adventures is my Grandpa John. He is the definition of the words “world traveler”. As a botanist and an adventurer, Grandpa has gone to Cape Spear(Newfoundland), Beaver Creek(Yukon), Ellersmere Island(Nunavut), the Amazon, the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East as well as having hiked Mount Kilmanjaro, been to the Dead Sea, lived in Kenya, and many many other adventures that are almost too numerous to count. Grandpa is a traveler and an adventurer. I am pretty convinced I get my travel bug from him. 🙂
As he puts it, “Hiking and tenting are wonderful opportunities to live richly, being part of nature. There is life and beauty all around; the “art of seeing” and all the senses are challenged to the max. To be immersed in such as these is to be in a state of gratitude and prayer, and the cares of this world just fade away.”
I will end by joining with Grandpa in saying “I am deeply grateful to God for these very rich life experiences.”