Engaging with the Outdoors
I just spent a couple days wandering the Grand Canyon, on my own. I find the occasional solo trips to be refreshing and rejuvenating, and have plenty of time to both think about the world, as well as just enjoy the outdoors without thinking.
One of my thoughts this time around is that throughout my entire life, I've always had some engagement with the outdoors, but now that I am getting old enough for my age to be a factor in my choices, I can see a history of changes surrounding how the engagement occurs.
- Toddlerhood - mostly exploring my own backyard. I still have memories of playing in the water that ran behind out house, which seemed huge and adventurous at the time.
- Early Childhood - biking through the neighborhood, playing in the backyards of friends. Weekend Camping.
- Later Childhood - biking to parks, and spending most of our time in the parks. More Camping.
- Early teenage years - Walking into the woods behind our neighborhood, taking the dog for a walk/swim. Camping with the Boy Scouts.
- Mid teenage years - Living in suburban Denver, and embracing the bike trail system, riding my bike everywhere. More Camping.
- Later teenage years Living in Connecticut, driving to various trailheads and going on short hikes after school or during the summer. And Rope Swings.
- College - Short walks around town, to various parks, and summers in the woods back home.
- Early professional years - Probably the least engaged period oif my life, as I mostly just worked and didn't do anything special on the weekends.
- Moved to Colorado - Mountains. Years and years of mountains. Started hiking short trails, got stronger, started bagging peaks.
- Moved to Oregon - Hiking and beaches. Gained an appreciation that there is more to life than Mountains. (kind of. I still like mountains.)
- Got Married to a busy teacher - Biking. So much biking. Biking on weekends. Biking when wife was busy working on theatre productions. And more Biking. Right up until I crashed.
- Post-Injury - Photography. I no longer have the ability for strenuous hikes or biking, so I have gotten into photography. I've spent afternoons, entire days, or entire weeks travelling my area, taking photos of state parks, national parks, and the outdoors in general.
Each of those bullet points is reflective of where I lived, my level of independence, and my physical abilities. And aside from the first few years post-college, being outdoors and doing something outdoors was part of my life. I'm thinking the current photography hobby will be my thing for a couple decades. So I'm going to start taking it more seriously, striving for higher quality in my work instead of just getting snapshots for fun.