I am many things, but the “outdoorsy” type is not one of them. With the move away from home, a new job, the attempt of making new friends, basically new everything, I decided why not try my hand at a new hobby.
In Cincinnati, the landscape is known for it’s hills and foliage variety. Living my entire life along the Ohio River, I’ve been blessed by being surrounded by a variety of landscapes in all directions. I was looking for the best spot to honor what I was use to back home. I asked some friends, who are more into the outdoors, where I should start and they all directed me to the “AllTrails” app. This app/website is a great way to find new trails, no matter your skill level. After some time perusing the app, I stumbled along the 9 mile trail around Clinton Lake; I was sold.
I begin my recon mission. I find out that the lake was made, the concept of making a lake still blows my mind, in the late 70’s as a cooling source for the Clinton Nuclear Generating Station. The thought of running across something 80’s Sci-Fy/Horror film was enough incentive to check it out for sure. To personally live out something someone could make TV out of is a constant dream of mine (I really want to meet an Alien). I spent the week talking this up amongst friends, even go as far as to invite a coworker the night before while we’re out drinking. At 28, I’ve now become the friend trying to convince others to wake up early and walk through spiderwebs at 7am rather than stick around the bars at 1am for another round of shots?! Oh how the times have changed!
Sunday morning comes, I’m so use to the habit of waking up at 4:30am for work that I wake up even earlier in excitement. Knowing that walking through the woods in the pitch black is not only a recipe for me to end up dead, but apart of a horror movie in the process, I decided to treat myself. There’s no better feeling, to know you’re going to start your day off on the right foot, than starting with McDonalds breakfast. With my sausage McGriddle and Iced Coffee in hand, I begin my 30 minute drive south in the cover of 6am darkness.
The sun begins to rise just as I arrive at 7am. I pack my fanny pack, yes I have three, with car keys, gum, phone, and headphones and head out for adventure…
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Now this is where I leave you. This is where I started my adventure. I wanted to spend this time catching up on podcasts and think about my work/life/responsibilities/blah blah blah, but the woods did not allow for that. The respect that the silence of nature demands is so refreshing to the hustle and bustle of life. The hike ended up being full of hidden gems, a wide variety of terrain, and at a “moderate” difficulty, something I think most of you can muster. The 9ish mile hike took me three hours on the dot to complete and I can not wait to get back out there once the leaves being to truly change.
My one big take away from this adventure has nothing to really do with nature. It’s about putting yourself out there. To not have expectations as you take in the world. With those expectations the reality of it all only leads to disappointment. I wanted to try something new, get out of my comfort zone, and discover something again. Take the time to learn if this is something that I want to make more time for.
So my challenge for you? Get out there this fall! Do the thing you keep talking yourself out of. Make that new friend, try that weird hobby, risk it. Not all of it, but just enough to make you sit back the next day and think to yourself, damn I never thought I’d be the person doing that! Have fun with it.
Until the next adventure,