It’s winter, it’s dark and cold. However, now into February, the days are getting longer, there’s a hint that summer is coming, and the extra daylight sets my trip dreaming free! An avid gardening friend always tells me that the summer garden starts in January with the dream. I feel the same way about summer outdoor trip planning!
Old favorite trails, quiet morning sounds, fresh air, and special sights of places I’ve been in years past float through my mind. I also pour over maps, apps, and trail guides, looking for new places to explore. Sometimes, only the tried and true will do; other years, I feel the tug to explore more.
Each year, I try to set some goals for exploration. Last year, my goal was simply to get out and about on some trails with my newborn baby and daughters. This year, summer trip dreaming started with my older daughter who wants to hike the tallest mountain in New Mexico. I’ve never been to Wheeler Peak, and I’m excited to tackle it as a 9 year old birthday expedition. This year NM is in exceptional drought, so we will likely face forest closures as fire risk is so high. Thus, I am working to plan my bigger trips early in the summer/late spring, and late into the fall. Life happens, however and my annual trip goals don’t always pan out. Just having these goals helps to give shape to planning and adds fun to looking ahead.
Most of my outdoor trips are solo or with family; however, I also like to share outdoor experiences with friends. and this summer I am especially looking forward to some all-woman trips. Trying to schedule these trips can be tricky and takes advance planning.These group trips need to account for schedule, time constraints, comfort level, and preferred activities (camping? backpacking? day hiking?) of all involved.
Dreaming up trips and planning them out over months is part of the fun of outdoor activities for me. Route planning, food planning, gear checks and keeping an eye on any closures builds the anticipation of a trip over these cold and dark days.
Do you like to daydream over potential outdoor trips? Do you have a bucket list of outdoor activities you want to go? Where are you planning on adventuring this summer? Leave a comment for all our inspiration!