The Joy of Small Adventures
Everyone loves big adventures. Those trips that you plan for months, have countdown calendars for, save up for for years, and use to keep yourself motivated. They’re things like biking across the country, backpacking across Europe, tackling the Appalachian trail, a three week road trip, or just a week long vacation with the family. They keep you going and get you excited. You make detailed plans, buy the gear, start training, or book hotel rooms. Big adventures are the best, and in my opinion, one of the purposes of life. However, there is definitely something to be said about small adventures.
These are the weekend trips, the last minute day trips, the quick hours at the crag, or the moments looking for the Ramen place with the smallest line. These are the times that bring life to your daily routine. They may have been planned for months as well or no planning may have gone into them at all. These adventures aren’t huge, but they are just as fun, and just as important as the big adventures.
I have a tendency to always want to go big when it comes to adventures. But recently a quick trip to the mountains reminded me that sometimes all you need is a day or two away to satisfy that longing to get out. I was invited on a three day trip to the Guadalupe mountains. We packed up early Friday morning and drove the 8 hours across the great state of Texas. Naps were taken, conversations were had, and the anticipation grew as we neared our destination.
We arrived at the base of the peak around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. As we stepped out of our car we all added a layer or two as the cooler mountain air hit our faces. Then we quickly packed our bags, weighed them (why did mine weigh 40 lbs who knows), and took off up the mountain to a campground three miles away.
The hike was great filled with good talks, deep breathes, and watching where we stepped as ice formed on the trail. A few hours later as we were about to hit the wall of hunger we came across our campsite. The sun began to set and we began to shiver. Almost immediately it was decided a fire was to be built and the ramen must be broken into. That fire saved us as we warmed up and sat around chatting for another few hours until the stars shined and our sleeping bags called our names.
The next day we got up with the sun and were almost blown over by the intensity of the wind. We pushed through the last mile to make it to the peak, the tallest peak in Texas. Pictures were taken and high fives given. Soon we were on our way to the bottom, stoked on our quick trip to the top.
After this journey we ventured on to check out the amazing Carlsbad caverns and then started our drive home with a stop at Fort Davis to sleep. The next day we packed up and made our way back to Austin. Three days, two nights. That’s all. Yet, it was the perfect trip. I don’t think I realized how much I needed a simple trip like this. Just a few days to get away into the mountains for some good campfire talks, some sleeps in my sleeping bag, and tons of fresh mountain air.
It wasn’t a month long climbing trip, but it was an adventure all the same. I think a lot of times we stop ourselves from having adventures because we think if we can’t go big we’ve gotta go (or stay) home. Work happens, family happens, adulting happens, life happens, so the big adventures don’t always happen. I encourage you in this new year to get out and have as many small adventures as you can. Pick a new random state park to go explore and picnic at each weekend. Take a walk outside when you feel like you’re suffocating. Call a friend up to try a new food you’ve never tried before. Plan a quick three day camping trip with your pals. Adventures don’t have to be big to be adventures, so just go have some!
Written By: Lydia Huelskamp