Tag Archives: water

Chilly Challenge

This time, the adventure belonged to another. I was but an observer standing silently to the side, impressed but uninspired to follow.

Walking in Wellfleet, Massachusetts on pristinely beautiful Cape Cod one October, I happened upon one of the area’s many kettle ponds. These freshwater basins —Thoreau’s Walden Pond is one of the better known examples— are virtually self-contained ecosystems dependent upon precipitation for their continued existence. Formed by melted glacial ice, they receive no waterflow from a river or stream. Their clear fresh raindrop waters sparkle blue within settings of verdant evergreen forests. Striking. Captivating. Inviting.

But still…  the air temperature was struggling toward 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I was bundled and zipped into a winter coat. And as I admired the vivid crisp color of this particular pond, I saw a splash. I watched for the fish to leap again. Instead I spotted the steady stroke of a swimmer making his/her way through frigid waters. No wet suit. Warmed only by the standard insulation with which our bodies are equipped.

As one with an aversion to cold water -who always does the toe dip temperature test before diving into a lake or pool, I was awed by the swimmer’s fortitude. I watched as he/she reached shore’s edge and then began the long swim back. Methodical. Unwavering. Uncomfortably chilled by my few stationary minutes spent watching, I pulled my zipper just a little higher to my neck and finally turned away. Walking briskly across pine needles to warm myself again…

Cape Cod Things To Do on raveable

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Just Add Water

Cooling down at Inniswood Metro Park
Cooling down at Inniswood Metro Park

Invariably, water is always the game changer.  The deciding factor.  The extra plus weighted into the yes column.  Almost any park or outdoor venue can be a good destination for my kids, but when you add water?  It becomes the better choice.

Our favorite hikes in southern Utah a couple of summers ago were the wet hikes.  Edging carefully up slate waterfalls and through canyon streams, swimming along the way in natural pools… those moist moments elevated extraordinary scenery into extraordinary experiences that grew us in new and delightfully freeing ways.  A shameless wordsmith might say that they saturated us with remarkable memories.

Even in frigid winter, we’re drawn to the frozen falls and iced over trails of the Hocking Hills in southern Ohio.  Maybe it’s that changeable aspect of water that invites us closer.  It’s duality fascinates us.   Eroding and building.  Freezing and thawing.  Ebbing and flowing. Changing the earth, changing itself.  All the while sending leaves, logs and rocks on whimsical journeys…

Columbus Things To Do

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