Google “Portland” (where I grew up) and the first image is a modest city with a snowy peak looming over the landscape. This shaped a normalized view that nature is a part of our daily life, not something that only exists in glossy publications or BBC nature documentaries. While those “wild” narratives around the outdoors are certainly inspiring, I don’t think you need to go far, to have a meaningful experience outside.
South Mountain Park & Preserve
Recently, I have found myself in Arizona to support family members during a global pandemic. Nearby is a local nature park that is surrounded in a neighborhood of mid-century ranch homes. While there are expansive views, the most rewarding part of these walks are the micro world of color and texture that define the seemingly desolate landscape.
Dusty stone ribbons cut through the exposed rocks along the trail. Arid flora in tans, umbers and sage-y greens reflect the warm hues of the sky at sunrise. New growth of the cholla cactus bound forth in bleached yellows as winter gives way to spring.
This isn’t some destination “outdoor” spot with an Instagram worthy view baiting us to have a singular experience. It’s a bit of “natural” landscape tucked behind urban sprawl. All the same, a walk here re-grounds my perspective and helps me reconnect with my life.
Find your local spot to recharge and observe nature. The easier, the better! Doesn’t have to be fancy and it could just be a walk in the neighborhood to observe the changing seasons.
Rob - Creative Director
What I Bring Along
I’ve been using the Canyon Crossbody on the regular. It has a spot for everything while still staying slim. Here’s what I brought on this trip:
• it Vanishes Trail Bandana
• iPhone X (its still going strong)
• Key chain
• 16oz Nalgene (just the right size)
• Kind Bar
• Original Suunto altimeter watch for the Y2K GORP habit