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“OWA is a great experience in a beautiful part of Colorado. All the counselors are really helpful, fun, and flexible. They help you safely step outside of your comfort zone and personalize your experience. I became close with other campers and built good relationships”- Sage, age 14
Austin, TX

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The Outdoors Are So Cool

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The birds flew off the wires strung pole to pole. In the air there was a feeling of energy I hadn’t felt before, and I probably won’t feel again. My friends and family were giddy with excitement as the sky went completely dark for over two minutes in the middle of a summer afternoon.

Ready for the total solar eclipse in Ste. Genevieve, MO

Ready for the total solar eclipse in Ste. Genevieve, MO

I know you may be tired of hearing about the solar eclipse, but man, I’m not tired of thinking about those two minutes and moments leading up to them. It felt like I was in some weird dream. Everything slowly became grayer, until all of a sudden there was a beautiful sunset all around us and the sun was but a ring in the sky. I know, “blah, blah, blah, eclipse, blah, blah, blah, it was neat”. The thing is it’s not just neat- it’s amazing. The sun is 400 times bigger than the moon. 400 times!! And yet the moon somehow manages to cover the whole sun for a few minutes. The outdoors are so cool!

I am constantly amazed at how freakin awesome the outdoors are. It never ceases to take hold of my imagination and cause my soul to wonder. From taking a simple bike ride to climbing a huge mountain, there is something incredible to see. I’ve stood on mountain summits and have witnessed rain falling on half a valley while the other half remains dry. I’ve laid down in my sleeping bag on top of a bed of rocks and watched a shooting star fly across the sky. I’ve had buffalo, elk, moose, skunk, snakes, and more creatures visit my campsite. The outdoors are so cool!

Outdoors people are awesome. For example, these 60-70 year olds climbing up 14ers like its nothing.

Outdoors people are awesome. For example, these 60-70 year olds climbing up 14ers like its nothing.

What is also so badass about the outdoors is the people you encounter when outside. Outdoorsy people are some of the most rad, chill, and friendliest people you will meet*. There is a lady in Colorado who bakes cookies, climbs to the top of 14ers, and surprises the other hikers with celebratory treats. Don’t have a four wheel drive vehicle so your hike mileage is going to be doubled? No worries! Some kind soul will come along and ask if you’d like a ride to the trailhead. I’ve had people share snacks, band aids, campsites, jokes, etc. They get it. The community is awesome. The outdoors are so cool!

I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing about the solar eclipse or your friend’s trip to the mountains, or about the new local trail that is opening up. Maybe you should grab your backpack, fill up your water bottle, lace up your shoes, and hit the trails. Because I don’t know if you know this- but the outdoors are so cool.

*for the most part

 

Written By: Lydia Huelskamp