Written by Christin Healey
I get it, Outside is where the bugs are. It's where it can be too cold or too hot, where you can't press a button for your morning cup of coffee, where you can't turn a handle for a 10 minute hot shower, and where (gasp!) you may not be able to get online. Americans, on average, spend over 90% of our lives in the Great Indoors. From the morning routine, to the gym, to the office, to the restaurants; we barely have a chance in our day-to-day to feel the sunshine warm our face, or the wind blow over our skin.
Luckily, there is a change in the air. A growing number of us are discovering that finding time to get out there, to wander and explore this amazing planet, to live with less and experience more, to hear the wind rustling through the trees, the leaves crunching under your feet, and the simplicity of a moment of silence, save the distant sounds of birds calling in the distance, can truly be life changing. And the best part of it all is just how simple it can be to get outside.
Epic adventures in far away and remote corners of the world are incredible, no question about it, but to appreciate all the wonders of this world, sometimes it's as close as your own backyard. In the past few weeks, I traded in my passport for my car keys, hiking poles, and some of my favorite gear, and hit all my favorite spots in my own backyard. So, from paddling sessions with some of my favorite people, to pre & post work sunrise/sunsets, to venturing a little further into the Blue Ridge on the weekends, here are some of my favorite spots almost right outside my front door.
Surrounded by rolling farmland, Peaceful views of the Blue Ridge, and grassy banks bathed in sunlight, there are few places I would rather take in the last few moments of the day than Beaver Creek. Admittedly it's getting pretty chilly here in Central Virginia, but luckily I have a few adventurous humans in my life that are totally up for some cold weather kayaking, sunset watching, and frozen pond exploring. With promises of hot chocolate and snuggly blankets, my friend Meredith and her son Tam met up with me and my trusty adventure pups for our little micro adventure that, while decidedly chilly, beats "Netflix and chill" any day of the week. Below are some of my favorites from our winter paddling outing.