I had been kidnapped. Stolen without my consent and thrown in the back of a rusted white 1990 Ford F-150. The driver was a man with a beer belly he worked quite hard for. His accomplice was a woman with a fondness for putting her feet against the windshield – a characteristic that often irritated the man. I knew I should have felt afraid, but I was plainly annoyed, these kidnappings had happened far too many times before. “Damn it Lois,” my father bellowed at my mother, “I told you not to do that,” as I rolled my eyes again from the backseat. During my childhood, I spent too much time in that F-150: complaining, passing drinks from the back seat to the front, reading Harry Potter books from cover to cover, being rudely awakened by ice-cold water drops on my face when my mother got eager and decided to grab her beverages by herself. My family and the family friends I grew up with all had a common interest: to explore. Whether it was tacos from a stand on the side of the road in Mexico, or a hike that one of them had discovered that ended up leading to a secluded waterfall – my family always kept an open mind; the results of these explorations could either be unpleasant, or a treat that we would visit again and again. It took me a long time to go from unappreciative of these excursions to realizing how blessed I was to have had so many experiences that others might not of even had the opportunity to.
Sometimes, when you can't think of what to say, it's good to quote others because they already said it best, so in the words of Mark Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." This blog begins because I hope to share with others what my parents and family friends shared with me: discover my amazing surroundings, appreciate them and take advantage of all they have to offer.
Another adventurous photo: If you click here, you'll see a photo of my parents and a few of their friends that ended up being used as a promotional poster for the Campaign for America's Wilderness and the Sky Island Alliance. It was a second trip up from the bottom of the Grand Canyon for all photographed and myself (several years apart, thank goodness). I refused to be pictured because I was beet-red, sweaty and a self-conscious 15-year-old.
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