Although I grew up near one of the most beautiful national parks, I didn’t spend much time exploring beyond the parking lot. I never imagined I would purposely walk miles and miles off the beaten track to explore the back country. Frankly, I never thought there was any rationale behind doing so.
This all changed when my wife convinced me to go on my first hike. I would like to say the experience was wonderful and I had the time of my life, but it really wasn’t. My wife had just finished hiking Half Dome and had decided that the next hike on her list was Yosemite Falls. She was pretty jazzed about the hike and I decided to go ahead and give it a try. It was late August and we started the hike around 10:30 in the morning. If you have ever hiked Yosemite Falls, both of these facts should make you laugh. Most of the hike is in the sun and in late August there is no water at the top of the falls. I wondered to myself the entire time what on earth people were thinking and where they actually enjoying this experience. I wondered what made my wife so happy about hiking in the sun (or hiking at all). It wasn’t until we were done that I realized the type of quality time that I had with my group. I saw Yosemite in a way that I never thought was possible. Although I was hot, at times miserable, and disappointed I didn’t get to see the water come down the falls, I had the time of my life. I caught the hiking bug.
Before I knew it I had hiked Half Dome several times and spent most of my free time planning a hike or hiking.
Our family life soon changed when our first daughter was born. One of the first things I bought was a Kelty child carrier! We didn’t realize at the time but we were creating explorers and hikers out of both our daughters. It became a family affair.
Fifteen years later I have found myself in some very impressive places. And best of all, I’ve done most of these with my wife Angela and our two daughters Alyssa and Samantha who are now 13 and 11 years old. With the right attitude (and proper gear) exploring the outdoors can be rewarding and filling. Dare to take the first step and explore the outdoors. Go beyond your comfort zone!