Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guest Post: Finding Adventure Close to Home

Photograph and Article by Nicole Holt

While Graham is away on trips, I like to plan the things we are going to do together when he is home. Being married to a man who travels regularly for work is a challenge for me because I do not get to share in his adventures. I make up for this by planning adventures for us to have when he is home.

The vast majority of these trips are local or, at most, an hour to two hours away by car. They are simple activities like going to an arboretum or checking out a place that has multiple pinball machines. The simplest one was exploring our backyard.

I didn’t notice the mushrooms growing all around our house until we had been living in Eugene for over a year. I blame it on the distraction of wedding planning followed by the gloom and subsequent seasonal affective disorder inherent in a rainy Pacific Northwest winter. After finally noticing the mushrooms and starting to photograph them all over our neighborhood, I decided that Graham and I needed to explore the woods behind our house.

There were many reasons to not explore our backyard area by myself; needless to say, I did not feel safe. So, I planned to go back there with Graham. At first, we stayed fairly close to the house, but over time, we ventured farther into the woods. It did not take us long after that to find the cliffs and the small brook below. It was beautiful back there, especially on a sunny day when the light filtered through the trees. The day I took the above picture was just such a day.

Roaming around those woods with Graham was one of my favorite things to do during our final months in Eugene. It is a shame that we did not think to explore back there sooner, and now that we live in a metropolitan area, I miss being able to stroll out of the house to go on rambles in the woods. However, the thought of our backyard explorations serves as a continual reminder that adventure can indeed be found in your own backyard and that engaging and worthwhile experiences are possible anywhere if you are open to them.

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