Faking It

25 Oct

Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My friends give me a hard time when I “claim” to like the outdoors, but really, I do. I may be a girly girl, but with a father and brother like mine, I often traded in my baby dolls and fashion magazines for baseballs and fishing poles (the proof is in the picture).

quite proud of myself

Having lived in the same house since I was three years old, I’ve been spoiled by the luxury of having a lake in my backyard. It not only means a permanently beautiful view (particularly during this time of year) but also hot summer days spent out on the boat. Water skiing, tubing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding – you name it, I’ve done it, though not always successfully.

When my brother and I were younger, we, along with my cousin, used to spend a week in Kentucky with our paternal grandparents. The highlight of this week was always the night or two that we spent camping at Levi Jackson State Park.  It was on this camping trip that I first peed without using toilet paper (a milestone in this girl’s life) and that my brother learned that “real” bacon is quite different from the turkey bacon in our freezer at home.

When my parents weren’t shipping us off to Camp Grandparents, they took us on amazing family vacations, but expensive hotels and spa weekends were not on the itinerary. Instead, we spent two weeks driving through British Columbia, Canada, hiking up glaciers (yes, even in the summertime) and watching a brown bear out our hotel window.  Or, after a 45-minute ride on a very small plane (just enough room for the pilot and my family of four), we spent a week living in a one-bedroom apartment in Cat Cay, Bahamas while my daddy served as the island’s doctor for the duration of our stay. Each winter, we bundled up and hauled our snow ski gear out west, spending a week or so on the slopes in Utah or Colorado.

My favorite trip was one that we took every summer throughout my middle school and high school years: we spent a week at a dude ranch in Encampment, Wyoming. The A Bar A is a place so remote that the driveway is twenty miles long, cell phone service is non-existent and the Internet is limited to one very slow dial-up connection.  We stayed in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin, complete with the occasionally pet bat (much to the dismay of my mother).  We spent our days horseback riding, fly fishing and hiking. We spent our nights dining at a five-star restaurant (the one “plush” factor of the trip), singing around a campfire and just enjoying each other’s company.

going for a morning ride at the ranch

Having spent the past two years enjoying the big city life, my outdoorsiness had nearly been put to rest.  However, it was recently put to the test when I visited my certain someone in Colorado. Dating someone who inarguably loves all things outdoors means that, more often than not, I have to throw on my baseball cap and put my best sneaker forward.  Hiking a two-mile trail and gaining 2,000 feet in altitude may not have been my most graceful moment or the most relaxing part of my five-day visit, but the view was certainly worthwhile.

So, as I’ve done for the past 24 years and in spite of protests from my friends, I’ll continue to embrace my inner outdoors(wo)men, give or take a few complaints and post-hike pedicures.

well worth the complaining (for ross too, i hope)


One Response to “Faking It”

  1. Katie Taylor October 26, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Whitney, I love reading your blog! I especially love that I can remember a lot of things you talk about. I also remember when you would visit the dude ranch and I’d miss you for that entire week, haha 🙂

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