While I was in high school, my family and I lived in Las Vegas. Some weekends my dad would take me hiking at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park, which I enjoyed (though sometimes I would’ve rather stayed in bed and slept past 7 am). But it took till an internship in Phoenix, Arizona the summer before I graduated from Indiana University for the outdoor enthusiast bug to really bite me. That summer, I was more than happy to get up at 4 am to go hiking and beat the 115 degree temperatures.
I spent my weekends in Arizona exploring some amazing places, some of which my colleagues at my internship had never even heard of. And a few of them had lived in Arizona all their life.
I spent a Saturday at Saguaro National Park;
a couple weekends in hiking in Sedona; visited Native American dwellings including Tuzigoot National Monument, Montezuma Castle, and Wupatki Pueblo;
climbed Camelback Mountain;
saw Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (one of my colleagues could not believe he lived 2.5 hours from a volcano all his life); and
fed a giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo.
And that is when the outdoor enthusiast bug bit me.
About a month into this summer of weekend exploration, I bought my first day pack: CamelBak’s Helena model in purple. I still carry it today. I also became a Member at REI (greatest $20 I ever spent). My dad came to visit over 4th of July weekend and strapped a DeLorme inReach Satellite Messenger to me. Apparently me traversing around Arizona by myself was making him and my mom a tad bit nervous, I don’t know why…
I learned a lot that summer like, getting sick from dehydration is not fun and to always always carry snacks with you, especially if you eat like I do, i.e. all the fricken time. (Not kidding.) Cliff Bars became my best friend. I learned about the history and culture of the area. I also met some really interesting people.
After that amazing summer in Arizona, I now try to spend at least one day a weekend exploring some place new or hiking a new trail. And that is what the main focus of this blog will be. I hope to inspire the outdoor enthusiast bug to bite more people so that every one will learn to love and respect the beautiful and unique places that this country is home to. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy what I have to share!