By: Camille Gullickson
Nine years ago, my husband and I embarked on a bittersweet farewell tour of the state that had been our home for the previous six years, California. We visited many of the natural treasures that we had enjoyed or intended to enjoy: Big Sur, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. In those days, getting out into the wilderness was second nature, and relatively easy since we didn’t have anything tying us down. But we were soon to embark on two very different adventures, relocating to New York City, and parenthood.
We’re back west, now, but with two small children in tow I am ashamed to admit how much dust has collected on my hiking boots, skis, and camping gear. Our littlest is a toddler, now, so things are getting easier. Last week we packed up the car and hit the road to meet friends in Humboldt County. Introducing our children to the giant trees that I took for granted in my California days was deeply satisfying. (Clearly, we don’t need to travel so far to enjoy natural beauty, as we are surrounded by it here in Oregon and in the west. But it was a start!)
The moral? Get out there this summer! Dust off your hiking boots, join one of our hikes or venture out on your own, or introduce a child in your life to the wonders of the wild wherever you are. And then, take action, to help safeguard these treasures for future generations.