Some people are born with an adventurous spirit, some have to have it coaxed out of them.
I wasn’t one of those born with a sense of adventure, nor was I taught to embrace a quest for exploration. My folks kept pretty close to home when I was a youngster.
Growing up, I can remember only three real vacations with my parents. As a child, I traveled with them down south to visit my oldest sister and brother-in-law when he was serving in the military and we stopped at interesting points along the way. As a teenager, my parents took me on one trip to Williamsburg, VA, and one trip to New York state and points in our own home state. That’s it.
On top of our lack of interesting journeys, I tended to be a fairly shy little girl who didn’t seek out risk-taking or exciting escapades. It wasn’t until I married my husband and he whisked me off to places I’d never been before that I started to enjoy new adventures.
When we were raising our children, I wanted them to have more opportunities than I did to experience new places and different sights, not just the same old, same old of everyday life.
We managed to do some traveling and exposing them to new activities while we lived in the Midwest, but upon moving to the Pacific Northwest, my desire to do that really kicked into high gear. We endeavored to provide for our children as many adventurous excursions, sight-seeing trips, and vacations as we could on the West Coast of our great country.
Somewhere along the line, our oldest daughter embraced an adventurous lifestyle with gusto. On her own, with friends, and with her like-minded husband, she’s traveled more places than I can even imagine.
Those two are the thrill-seekers who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago. You can read about that by clicking here.
Right now as I write this, they are traveling throughout Peru visiting the Amazon Rainforest and hiking and camping in the Andes Mountains.
Since Papa and I have semi-retired, we’re hoping to fill up our own travel itinerary from time to time. One of my goals has always been to visit each of the 50 states here in America, and so far, I’ve checked off 35 states with 15 more to go. So we’ve got some adventure planning to do of our own.
Our oldest grandchild, who is only 2 ½ spends a great deal of time with Nana and Papa, and we try to take her on little excursions here and there so she too will develop a bit of adventure.
Yesterday, I posted a photo I took back in July when we did just that. We traveled just a couple of hours away from our home with Little One in tow for a sightseeing day trip.
One of the places we visited was actually somewhere that even Nana and Papa had never been before – Kinzua Sky Walk in Kinzua Bridge State Park.
Once the highest and longest railroad bridge in the world, the viaduct spanned the Kinzua Gorge. But a tornado ripped through the area almost 15 years ago and shredded a good portion of the bridge into twisted metal.
Using six steel towers that remained, a skywalk, which extends 624 feet into the gorge, was constructed. Walking along the skywalk 225 feet above the valley provided some amazing views, which I believe would be even more breathtaking in the fall when all the leaves are brilliantly colored. For a more complete view of the bridge/skywalk, watch a youtube video here.
Our Little One enjoyed the adventure of something new and different to behold. She loved playing with the wooden toy train and blocks building a replica of the original railroad bridge in the visitor’s center. Even at her young age, she got a kick out of some of the exhibits there as well.
And walking on the skywalk was grand fun for her. She was even more mesmerized by the glass blocks near the end of the structure that enable you to look out below down those 224 feet. Not a great place for someone afraid of heights, but our Little One loved it!
After a picnic lunch at the park grounds, we traveled on to a couple more spots. Needless to say, Little One tuckered out and slept most of the way home. But what a fun little voyage we experienced and hopefully, we’re teaching her to embrace exploration with gusto.
And wishing her a lifetime of adventures.
“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures…” ~ Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland