Everybody needs a little adventure

When we think of adventurous travel, we often think of the “epic” trip, where we spend months planning, packing, preparing, and going on an overland trip to places we have never seen before.

And yet sometimes, adventures can happen unexpectedly.

I am lucky to live in a beautiful spot, a little house in the Northern Cascade Mountains, on the BC side of the border. It is a rugged area, with a mix of steep mountains, un-named glaciers, winding highways, and scenic trails. We are 20 minutes from the nearest town, gas pump, or grocery store which, having moved from the bustle of New York, feels a little like heaven.

But every once in a while mother nature decides to remind us that life in the mountains, while scenic, can also be unpredictable. Yesterday was a good example for me:

Having driven to Vancouver in the morning for a business meeting, I was driving home when I found out that a mud and rock slide had closed the highway that I normally would follow to make it home.

As the heater in my Defender had decided about 10 minutes earlier to only blow cold air, and with the outside temperature hovering around freezing, the thought of a winding detour through the mountains and valleys had less than the usual appeal.

Pulling over to put on my parka, consult my GPS, and confirm I had snow chains, shovel, air-hose, winch-controller and granola bars in the back of the truck, and grumbling at the inconvenience, I set out to find a “scenic route” home.

But a funny thing happened on the way home. After about 40 minutes of driving through little farms, over ancient steel bridges, railroad tracks, and quarry sites, I realized I was no longer in “commuter” mode. Rather than driving down the highway on auto-pilot, I was actively engaged in the drive, the truck, the road, and the scenery around me. And you know what? I was enjoying myself. And I continued to enjoy myself all the way home.

So the drive home took about 90 minutes longer than usual, and I got less work done in the afternoon than I’d planned, and yet, I found myself a little disappointed when I checked the highways-department website this morning and saw that the road was back open.

I guess adventure really is good for you. Even a little adventure.

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