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Go Outside and Play

Updated on January 17, 2015

Born to be Outdoors

Did your mom often say to you "Go outside and play"? Mine didn't because I was already outside. When I was a kid I spent most of my time running with our dog, riding my bike, walking at the beach, playing in the ocean or going into the nearby canyon and exploring.

My siblings and I spent most of our time outside playing and exploring different areas. My father was in the military and we moved around a lot. We often had new places to explore. I enjoyed all the places we went.

My husband and I have moved around quite a bit in the western United States. We now live in Northern Idaho and spend as much time as possible hiking, bike riding, and exploring the area.

In this lens I'll be discussing the activities I enjoy and mention some of the places I've explored. Hopefully I'll inspire you to explore and find more places outdoors that you love.

Personal image, all rights reserved

Camping

Sleeping Under the Stars

Camping is one of the best ways to get outdoors and feel the power of nature. My husband and I prefer quiet places, meaning where few people are. It gives us a chance to unwind and get away from the day-to-day rush and craziness that often happens.

Some of our favorite places to camp have been in western Oregon. We have often camped near streams. It's impossible not to unwind when we're near a body of water. It's not so easy to stay awake either, the sound of water puts me to sleep quickly.

Well, there was one time the sound of water woke me up. We were camping in Klamath Falls, Oregon and it started to rain. No big deal. We were Oregonians we could handle it. The rain started coming down more and more and soon there was a river running through our tent. That woke us up. We ended up going to a hotel and setting up the tent in the hotel to dry it out. It's one of our funniest memories of our camping trips.

Once we camped in a remote area in the hills in Northern California. We were the only humans at the campsite. A forest ranger came around and said that cougars had been sighted a few days prior and told us to be sure to put all food away, which we did. The next morning when we got out of our tent we saw cougar prints right by our tent. Dang, I missed seeing a cougar!

Camping has allowed us to explore many areas. We've hiked into places cars can't get to and wandered through some amazing areas. I look forward to even more camping!

Image courtesy of Amazon

Bird Watching

One of the things I do almost every time I'm outside is watch birds. Actually, I do that when I'm inside staring out windows too. If there's a bird around I'll usually spot it.

I'm not sure when I first started noticing birds. They amazed me when I was a kid and that has never changed. Their colors, sounds and ability to fly free capture my attention.

One of the more exciting bird sightings I had was during a trip to the Seattle area to visit my sister. I decided to go to a Great Blue Heron nesting area to watch the herons. While hiking up a hill with my then 14 year old niece I heard my sister below us yelling. I saw her pointing upwards and when I looked up saw two Red-tailed Hawks with their claws locked together tumbling towards us. There wasn't a place to run to quickly so we laid down and watched the hawks. The two hawks broke apart from each other shortly after we spotted them. It was an amazing site. I enjoyed seeing the herons but the stars of the day were the hawks.

Our landlords have peacocks which sometimes roam. My husband was looking out our kitchen window and mentioned that it looked like there was a pea hen out there. It turned out to be a wild turkey that was munching on dandelion poofs. Suddenly one of the peacocks came running up the hill all excited. It was as if he was saying "They got me a girlfriend!". He strutted and tried to get her attention. She was more interested in the dandelions. It was a funny sight to watch.

I'll continue to watch birds wherever I go. They are amazing creatures. How about you? Are you a bird watcher?

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My Boots are Made for Hiking

My hiking boots have taken me to great places. I've hiked down to Crater Lake and huffed and puffed back up the hill. I've wandered through the Death Valley desert. I've hiked up towards Mt. Saint Helens just a few years after it erupted. All of these and many other trips were amazing. I love hiking!

One of my favorite trips was to the ghost towns in the southwest. It's very quiet there so there are few distractions and we explored the empty buildings or almost buildings. Met the residents. No not ghosts, lizards. We didn't meet any ghosts. It was fun to explore the area and imagine what life was like way back when.

I've taken a lot of hikes to go bird watching. The cliffs on the Oregon coast are an amazing place to watch sea birds. It's the first place I saw Puffins. That was exciting! In Baja, Mexico walking along the beach we saw Frigate birds for the first time. There have been birds just about everywhere I've hiked to. It's one of the reasons I enjoy hiking so much.

Not long ago we moved to Northern Idaho and I've only explored a few places. I'm excited about getting out and hiking the many trails in the area. One trail that I have yet to get to the top of in this area is the McKinnick Trail which is 3.5 miles long with a 2,150 foot elevation gain. I'm looking forward to standing at the top of the trail and seeing the amazing views.

Personal image, all rights reserved

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret

is patience."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is there a place that you'd like to explore?

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    • ghoststorylover profile image

      ghoststorylover 4 years ago

      I loved this lens! I love hiking and camping, but spotting a cougar doesn't sound fun lol. I saw one in a zoo once and that's the only place I'd like to meet face to face with one lol. I saw several black bears over the years while playing in the Sierras in California but that's it.

      What a silly little peacock! :)

    • profile image

      Colin323 4 years ago

      When I was a boy there were few indoor distractions, not even tv until I was 9 or 10, so it was natural to go outside; there was much less traffic, too, which in Britain is a big issue for parents to consider today.

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @darkflowers: The outdoors is the best place to be! New Zealand is on my list too! Thank you for stopping by and your kind words.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I loved this Lens, you have great outdoor activities, Mary! The camping adventure sounds like heaven on Earth, I did it a lot. I'm outside a lot with my dogs, love walking with them and exploring great places together. On my wish list I got New Zealand because of its beautiful nature, but where you live and/or explore sounds lovely too, more items on my list I guess :-)

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @BritFlorida: Me too! Thanks for your comment!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Even when I'm indoors I have to have the windows open to bring the fresh outdoor air in!

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @Dusty2 LM: Thanks for all your kind words!

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 4 years ago

      Me; I have always been an outdoor person. Very nice lens and appreciate you sharing it. It sounded like the hawks were, maybe, trying to mate or scraping over food. I'd like to have been there and seen them. Liked the photo of the peacocks and the story. Thank You for stopping by my Easy Frittata with Fresh Spring Vegetables lens and giving it a "thumbs up" as I really appreciate it. Bon Appetit!

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      Too many places to list. Always exploring new ones!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      I love traveling to different places and walking around...my most favorite place to be is on a horse in the woods or on the beach.

    • AlphaChic profile image

      AlphaChic 4 years ago

      Everywhere, as long as it's outside!

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      So many places... But Bhutan and Tibet are high on my wish list...

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Hiking is great fun! ;-)

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 4 years ago

      So many places I want to explore. Outdoor activities are fun :)

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @siobhanryan: Thank you and a huge hug to you! This is my first lens as a RocketSquid and I feel extremely blessed by all the support. Now I feel doubly blessed. Thank you!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Blessed- Great lens

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: Thank you! I agree with you about peacocks, they are entertaining to watch.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Great opening lines! You had me interested right away, and the bit about the peacock gave a chuckle - they are such expressive birds, so beautiful and so ridiculous, aren't they? All your outdoor adventures should give you plenty of fodder for great Squidoo lenses. :)

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: Thank you for your kind words and support. May your 2013 be marvelous!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Welcome to the Rocket Squids.Nice to read about you, now I do know you a little, thanks for sharing.

      Looking forward to your future lens. Hope 2013 is a great year for you.

    • LilyBird profile image
      Author

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      @artbyrodriguez: Thank you! The tips are very appreciated.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      As a kid, I, also, spent all free time outdoors. Mom didn't even know exactly where we were! I like your personal stories. RocketSquid tip...give attribution to all photos. You could, also, add a Pole Module with a related question to involve your readers in your lens.

      NIce work.