Saturday, February 26, 2011

Exploring The Wonders In Our Own Back Yard

I have a goal for my family in the coming weeks and months:  this year, we will explore the wonders in our own back yard a little more, and learn to appreciate nature and quiet pleasures.

Because vacations and down time cannot always be about spending scads of money on a huge trip to some distant place, now can it?

And nature?  That can be enjoyed pretty much any time, anywhere, for not very much moolah where we live in WV.  That's a valuable lesson to teach The Peanut.

Plus, it's far more relaxing on so many levels to just enjoy a nice walk in the country not too far from home than it is to have to drive or fly forever to rush to a destination, only to have to rush right back home again after another long, stress-filled, tiring drive or flight. 

I could use a little more of the former this year, frankly, after the insanity of the last year or so in our family.

So, I have started compiling a list of a few things we can do within a few hours drive of our house.  And, lo and behold, it's not only fun-filled, but it is also pretty substantial.  Near us, we have several state parks with some lovely trail areas, a national forest area, a really cool mountain ecosystem area that is packed with unique flora and fauna, lots of "rails to trails" hiking opportunities, and lots, lots more for us to do within a very easy drive of our house.

My plan is to get us outside and moving more as the weather warms, which would be great for more exercise, but also be a wonderful way to get some family time as we explore some new things together.  It can't be all work and no play, right?

So I'm going to plan some outings for us, and will take pictures along the way as we start doing them so all of you can see some of the sights in my lovely state.   Maybe we can pack a picnic lunch or two, and I'll share some recipes that worked well with those, too. 

Hopefully, this will be a catalyst for you to find some own wonders in your backyard to explore.  That can't be a bad thing, right?

(Gorgeous photo via Greg Lilly Photos.)

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