A park in the center of town is centered around the natural beauty of two lakes and stabilized dunes. Along the trails are many viewing areas of the lakes with benches to sit and watch wildlife. It is our favorite place for a little exercise – mostly because it is so close – but it also provides a sense of solitude.
The kids accompanied me on a run this afternoon, they on their bikes and I in my kicks. While they took turns choosing which direction to turn each time we came to a fork in the trail, my daughter remarked, “I just love Oregon. I am so glad we moved back. There is such diversity here.” I couldn’t agree more.
An active lifestyle has always been an important part of our life. We have enjoyed outings as a family since the kiddos were infants and we pushed them in a stroller. Now that we are back in Oregon, it seems we have more time together as a family. More time to devote to the activities we enjoy doing together.
In a family meeting some weeks ago, we had discussed our goals for the new year. We each outlined what we hoped to accomplish and the challenges we set for ourselves as individuals. In addition, we talked about our goals as a family. I have outlined a couple of them for you below.
What projects did we want to undertake in our new home?
–> Pay off our mortgage (acquired in October) as soon as possible … this is why I am substitute teaching
–> Geneva wants to utilize the raised beds in our backyard to plant a vegetable garden
— > Jeffrey wants to landscape our front yard
How do we plan to stay physically fit and mentally alert?
–> I want to begin running again
–> Go camping more often
— > Hike 52 different trails
52 Hike Challenge
There it is … 52 hikes. Essentially one hike every week. This coming weekend will mark the conclusion of the thirteenth week of the year. However, we’ve completed only nine hikes (we agreed each hike must be at least 1 mile in length to be counted) thus far.
January and February, as expected on the Oregon coast, were pretty wet. We thereby didn’t get out every weekend. There was also a swim meet in Eugene and illnesses which kept us busy or otherwise obligated. As the weather improves, however, we hope to knock off 2-3 on some weekends.
One of the things I love best about our hiking adventures – beside the unexpected encounters (wildlife, mudholes, fallen trees, etc.) and the destinations for which we aim (the views of the coast from the highest point at Cape Perpetual and the WW2 bunkers at Cape Arago) – are the learning experience it provides once we have returned home.
Each Friday, I ask the kids to select one thing that sparked their interest on the last hike to record in their nature journals. I am always fascinated to discover what they found of interest. Roosevelt Elk and Fall Mushrooms have been my favorites thus far.
Werifesteria ~ To wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery
In addition, my son hopes to earn a merit badge in hiking this year. To accomplish this goal, we need to hike three 10-mile hikes, one of 15 miles, and one 20 miles.
To learn more about the trails and options in our region, we have also joined a local hiking club. We will be joining them this coming weekend for a hike we’ve never done before. It will be nice to go with a guide.
I’ll keep you posted periodically on our progress. I would also love to hear about the trails you love. I keep a bucket list of trails and scenic areas to explore when we travel.