When it comes to the outdoors, we all have certain moments, experiences and stories that we all reflect on, tell stories about, and cherish. These moments make us truly feel alive and feel at one with nature. These experiences makes love the outdoors just that much more than we did previously. All campers, hikers, and outdoors enthusiasts know this in their bones.
Rather than write about our own, we reached out to some of our favorite outdoor bloggers to have them share their favorite outdoor moments. We wanted to share these stories with you in hopes to encourage you to get outdoors!
As a boating writer I love the sea and all its creatures, but as a sailor living on a sailboat, I hate seagulls. They swoop menacingly to terrorize Mouser, the ship’s cat. They poop on the deck. They squawk and caw when you’re trying to sleep in. So it was with some surprise that I found myself running to the aid of an injured seagull that day.
It was a cold winter morning in North Florida. The gull’s broken wing dragged raggedly as it hobbled around the parking lot. Tourist trash yields a buffet of burger buns, cracker crumbs, broken potato chips. Yet my seagull was always too late to the party, pushed aside by stronger gulls. I watched for a while. Then I sighed and did what had to be done.
I recruited another woman, rounded up a big cardboard box, speed dialed Wildlife Rescue to tell them we were coming (unless we got pecked to death) and began playing stoop tag with the gull. He fought us to the end, fixing me with one last, stink-eye stare as the warm, soft box closed gently around him. “I have a car. I’ll take him to the rescue station,” the other woman promised. “They’ll know what to do.”
Seagulls still use my spread bars for a bidet. I don’t like them any better than I ever did. But I like myself a little better now.
My most memorable outdoor moment would have to be seeing the Grand Tetons in the Grand Teton National Park for the first time. I love the mountains and have seen many of them but the Tetons are breathtakingly different. The land surrounding them in mostly flat and then they just jut up out of the earth. I had seen pictures before but there is nothing like seeing the massive mountains standing in front of you. To see the glaciers that have a home near the top of the peaks, and how the mountains just slice through the clouds.
Then you learn the history of the area in the National Park, how they built a ferry to cross the river to get to the mountains to pick the huckleberries and hunt. I also got the chance to see a sunrise over the Tetons along Jackson Lake. The whole trip was relaxing and reminded me how truly small my corner of the earth was and made me want to get out and explore even more.
My favorite memories are from when I was a kid and went on backpacking trips to the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York with my dad and sister. We usually stayed in lean-to’s and it was cool to feel like you were completely outdoors but still protected.
On one trip, there were some mice running around the campsite. The mice had learned that people equal food and weren’t at all afraid of us. So, we got the idea to spray cheese in a can between our toes. The mice licked the cheese out from our toes! I could feel the mice running over my sleeping bag at night while I slept.
Now I’m the parent and take my daughters on backpacking trips. We have so many good memories together and I love watching them interact with nature. Like when my older girl made an “eco-system” by catching newts, leeches, and water beetles in our camping pot. Or falling asleep next to the camp fire. Or that time she complained the entire way up a difficult trail but then was really proud to have made it…
I know that these experiences are shaping my kids for the better and creating memories, just like ones I have with my dad.
A while back, a gaggle of my friends and I decided to pay a visit to the famed redwood forests in Redwood National Park, California. We had been hearing of how everywhere in the park leaves you feeling like a hobbit and a glimpse of the migrating gray whales had already sold us on the idea.
Our backpacks packed to the brim with essentials to last us a couple of days, we took the Redwood Coast Transit buses to Orick and found our way to one of the developed campgrounds to set up.
The trees there are humongous! According to our guide, some of the trees are as old as 500 to 700+ years with immense heights of over 300 feet and diameters of over 15 feet. One was so huge that a car could literally drive through – the Tour Through Tree at Klamath (a few miles from the park).
The park is rich in fun hiking trails, lined up by giant redwoods, prairies, and shores. The highly-recommended Lady Bird Johnson Grove didn’t disappoint; what with the long trail laden with even more redwoods, greenery, hollowed-out trees, and relaxing ambiance?
The Redwood National Park is also home to the Roosevelt elk that is one of the largest members of the deer family and third largest land mammals in Northern America. However, our minds were set on watching some whales.
The Crescent Beach Overlook along the coastlines provided a good spot for us to wait for the action.
A few hours in, we could see some spouting here and there and finally, a huge gray whale leaped out of the waters just as majestic and oddly terrifying as we had imagined. The whale calves that followed suit were just as magnificent to watch.
Whale watching was hands down the highlight of our five-day excursion and the dances performed by members of the Yurok and Tolowa tribes were also very breathtaking and enlightening. We plan on going back next year to explore the huge park and discover more wonders that we may have missed.
There is nothing quite as tranquil and serene as waking up to the sounds of woodpeckers, a gentle breeze, and a gorgeous view of the Southern California mountains. My first experience spending the night in a tree house in Julian, California, was nothing short of spectacular.
The tree house was built in cabin form, with a platform in the trees which looked over lake Julian, which is about an hour 1/2 from sunny San Diego. It fits six guests, allowing my boyfriend, mom, brother, and sister-in-law to tag along on my brand new adventure. The tree house came with all of your modern amenities; a full kitchen, bedroom, full bathroom, pull out sofa, movie theater seating and entertainment system, and the best part, a jacuzzi.
From hiking by the lake, snacking on Julian’s famous apple pie, to sipping delicious wine while playing board games with my loved ones in the comfort of our tree house home, what more could you ask for?
Glamping gives you the opportunity to reconnect with nature without sacrificing your everyday comforts. It’s about experiencing the great outdoors while having a comfortable place to rest your head at the end of the day. I have since stayed in another tree house, a yurt, a cabin, and will be ringing in the New Year at a vintage trailer in the mountains. Nothing will replace the magic and memories of my first tree house visit.
One of my most memorable moments was the feeling of accomplishment I had after riding my bike over 25 miles of rough terrain, by myself in the back country in southern British Columbia. I was singing on the top of my lungs warning any bears in the vicinity I was coming and laughing at how stupid I would look if anyone came along. I quickly came to a stop when the trail ended, and a creek was flowing past me making it impossible to continue. Disappointed I looked around and of course there w
asn’t anyone who could help me, but I did see a funny looking contraption with a wooden box and cables that ran over to the other side of the creek.
A cable car! Right there in the middle of nowhere was a cable car for me to use. I quickly loaded my bike and myself in the box and using the pulley system I pulled myself across the water. Looking back from the other side after I unloaded my bike was quite the feeling as I saw where I had been and where I was now. I did it without anyone’s help and if you knew me you would understand how good it felt.
This journey was a challenge I gave myself and wasn’t too sure I could do it. I wasn’t exactly young and not necessarily in the best of shape. But I did it and went to challenge myself over many trails in the next few years. It still feels good when I think back on my bike ride and little cable car journey.
On a hot summer day, my husband and I decided to visit Lake Bled, Slovenia but this time not only walking around the lake but rather enjoying Ojstrica hike. It’s completely uphill with easy to semi-difficult level and totally worth its effort. Once you reach the top, you’ll know what I mean.
There are a few different starting places. We started walking from the town’s center until reaching the hiking trail – a wooded area with a sign that says “Ojstrica”. We followed the path into the forest and just before our arrival, the path started to get fairly steep and did a series of switchbacks.
In the middle, we got lost because we missed the sign. However, after 20 minutes we reached a gorgeous summit (611 m high) with a bench and stunning view of Lake Bled. We sat on the bench, before making some photos just enjoying the moment, surroundings, sunshine and the scenic view. After this hike we enjoyed typical Slovenian food in a local restaurant called “Gostilna”.
If you have any outdoors moments, experiences, or stories you’d like to share, let us know by sending an email or reaching out on our Facebook or Pinterest pages! Happy exploring!
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