An Urbanite Discovers the Outdoors


For Ray Burks, outdoor adventures in college forever transformed her relationship with nature.

Here is her contribution to Outdoor Afro in words and in pictures.

As an ubanite born and raised in a concrete jungle, trips to the real wilderness were few and far between.  Going out in nature just felt very unnatural.  That all changed when I went to the University of Northern Iowa and graduate school in the midwest.  The “norm” was outdoor activities if the temperature was above 30 F and nothing was falling from the sky.  I discovered camping did not have to be a huge undertaking, it was casual weekend trip.  My last year in college as a chemistry major, I got to do science outdoors through UNI’s Water Project and being in nature no longer felt so unnatural.

Now, I get out in the great outdoors as often as I can.  Being married to a Midwesterner who fishes, snowboards, hikes, camps, boats and any-other-outdoor-hobby helps too!  We live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a great place for a beach lover (me), mountain lover (husband) and outside lovers (our dogs).

traveling with dogs

Once place we all enjoy is Whidbey Island.  We headed to Double Bluff Beach, a beautiful stretch of beach with stunning views of the Olympic mountain range.   Double Bluff Beach has an off-leash dog park, along with plenty of interesting marine life for people and pups to enjoy (or chase after).  For a few hours, we all got to feel far away but were only a short ferry ride away from bustling Seattle.  That’s a perfect fit for this nature loving urbanite!

Ray Burks is a Forensic Scientist who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and canine companions. Follow her on Twitter @RadiumYttrium


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