So every other weekend, until I became a teen, was spent in the country. And while I now see the value of my time there, I distinctly recall lots of boredom in an era that pre-dated ubiquitous cable TV, video, and phone technology. But boredom was what actually propelled me and my playmates to invent games, songs, and dances against the backdrop of the country during the day. Nights were often spent around a large fireplace with family members; swapping tales, playing board games, or a producing “talent shows” for the adult’s amusement.
Back in Oakland, I received a more formal outdoor education with the Girl Scouts and loved our frequent retreats to the many local parks and youth camps. However, as a too-cute-for-the-woods teen, I abandoned my commitment to outdoor activities and did not reconnect with the natural world until I was a young adult living in San Francisco.
In the City, parking limitations and aggressive ticketing practices made owning a car impractical. So bicycling became my primary form of transportation and at the same time my outdoorsy room mates introduced me to extended bike treks to camp or to hike along the coast. I even tried out mountaineering for the first time with Outward Bound (see title photo), where I learned the fundamentals of mountain climbing and the life lesson to “trust my feet”.