A is for Adventure

I have always been the one friend that is up for adventure. So when I was listening to a recent podcast (Vikki J. Carter’s Authors of the Pacific Northwest), I was introduced to the A to Z Bloggers Challenge. The A to Z challenge basically challenges Bloggers to blog 26 times in the month of April based on the alphabet. Think NANOWRIMO meets Sue Grafton. And as I’m always up for a challenge (maybe “Cs” post), I decided to jump aboard and see where it takes me.

I think my sense of adventure is rooted in growing up in a small town with parents who have had adventures of their own. My dad grew up all over the world, my mother in Chicago but spent summers in Wyoming. Both of them ended up at college in Montana (where they met). They raised me and my sister in a small northern California town and our vacations were at the beach in Oregon with my grandmother and camping in places with names like Goose Nest and Patrick’s Point.

The older I’ve gotten, the less desire I’ve had for camping. But my willingness to explore has not dampened a bit. Six years ago, we were faced with making a choice. My husband’s company was making some changes and we were given an option for him to take a transfer. After weighing the options (as much as I love Disneyland, Irvine was at the bottom of our list), we chose Salt Lake City, Utah (as it was the closest to our both of our family still in California).

Moving to an area where we knew no one was daunting. But choosing to make an adventure out of it made all the difference. Making it an adventure to me in a way means treating it like I’m on vacation and finding all the touristy things to do and even some non-touristy things.  I will never forget finding a store in the area that focused on Amish furniture and a friend who had lived near Salt Lake all of her life had never heard of it.

Of course my husband and daughter are not always quite up to my sense of adventure. Occasionally I have to “stretch” to get them to follow my instincts. Take the time I wanted to go visit the Golden Spike National Historic Site. My great grandfather was a chef on the Super Chief (Sante Fe) and I’ve had an affinity with railroad for a long time. Having seen the “real” gold spike at the railroad museum in Sacramento, I really wanted to see where the transcontinental railroad joined up and were connected at Promontory Point. On certain days, a group of people dress up in period costume and reenact the event.

I convinced my family to take a drive (about an hour north of where we were living). We toured the museum and watched the reenactment. What I didn’t tell them, until we were finished was that I wanted to check out the Spiral Jetty.

The Spiral Jetty is an art installation in the Great Salt Lake not “to far” from historic site. Now “not to far” is about twenty miles….down a dirt road. Which is equivalent to about 45 minutes to an hour drive. That part I didn’t share. The Spiral Jetty was contructed in 1970 by Robert Smithson.

I guess, after all this, what I’m saying is take the extra drive. Explore the road less traveled by. Make life an adventure. The journey is worth it.