Discovering Life Outside My Door: Hiking and Camping

This is part two of a three part series.  Read the previous post here:  Discovering Life Outside My Door:  Geocaching.

Getting out on the trails in our Georgia State Parks is something that we as a family have grown very fond of.  Well, though I say "we as a family", it probably relates more to my wife and I, but my two sons really do seem to enjoy themselves just as much when they are with us.  Not only does time out on a trail offer the obvious health benefits, but for me, it is a time of refreshing, and it has a way of bringing me back to center.  It is a place where I can leave all of the daily frustrations of job related activities and just focus on the wonderful natural world that our Creator has provided.  It is an escape indeed.

For those of you that are familiar with my blog, you know that I attribute much of my love for the outdoors to geocaching.  It is this hobby that has introduced me (and my family) to the joys previously hidden from us.  And just as we enjoy pursuing that hidden cache, we now equally enjoy finding many of nature's hidden treasures out on the trail.  One need only look and there is so much to discover.  This has been my experience...our experience.

While frequently struggling with weight issues and a lack of stamina, my recliner has offered quite a few days of solace to my tired and weary bones over the years.  And as I stated in a previous post, it has always been there waiting for me with arms wide open.  I guess you could say that it had become a way of life.  Add to the luxury of a good recliner a big screen television, a remote control, and a good lap dog, one could argue that that is the good life.  While I won't argue that it is good to relax like this from time to time, as is the case with most good things, moderation is the key.  Thus for me, this had become far too much my way of life.

Upon discovering geocaching, our Georgia State Parks have offered us an opportunity to get out and enjoy nature and our time together.  We have seen many things equivalent to those that I may have marveled at while watching the National Geographic Channel, Discovery, or Animal Planet.  And to be quite honest, the things we have experienced first hand are far greater than 3D!  We have witnessed wildlife in its natural environment, not caged for our petty curiosity...snakes, deer, turkey, armadillos, turtles, birds!  We've learned of new plants and observed them up close.  We've experienced the thrill of waterfalls cascading from high above and we've breathed the moist, damp air which emanates from its massive splash.  We've viewed the countryside from tall peaks of mountains with the wind in our face and exclaimed the view to be far greater than any paint splashed upon a canvas.  It is these things that continue to lure us back time and time again.  It is these things that we have come to long for.

Perhaps unexpectedly, a by-product of our new life outdoors is that we as a family seem to have drawn closer.  The time together is time that I'll cherish for the rest of my life and I have no doubt that there are stories that my children will someday relate to their children, just as I hope to do to my grandchildren.  Even if I may be the butt of some of those ill-advised adventure stories, as long as a smile ensues, that is all that really matters.  We are making memories...wonderful memories!  Memories such as my two boys starting a fire without matches, or a lighter, on a camping trip...or memories such as the frustrations of putting a tent up for the first time...or memories of that "drunk" rooster crowing all night while camping at Reed Bingham State Park, Ga!  Yes!  I will cherish these memories!

This post is but a fraction of the wonders of the life that I've discovered outside my door.  And while there are so many things that I'm thankful for, my introduction to a Life Outside My Door is very close to the top of the list!


  1. Geocaching and hiking has been a great combination for our family as well. We often have 3 generations out on the trail together.

  2. I enjoy reading about the adventures that you and your family share.


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