When Adventure Looks a Lot Like Being Lazy

When Adventure Looks a Lot Like Being Lazy

My husband and I once spent a week driving across the country to see Glacier National Park. Despite having been to many of the amazing National Parks in the West, we’d never made it to Montana. We had planned this trip for months and miraculously been able to book a room at the world-renowned Many Glacier Lodge. It was the middle of summer and the weather was beautiful for our whole drive. We were looking forward to some challenging hiking and mountain climbing and of course the legendary views.

The day we were scheduled to arrive at the park, a chilly fog moved in and it started raining. Not the exciting summer monsoon sort of rain that comes up in a hurry and leaves just as fast. The socked-in, 34-degree, ice-coming-at-you-sideways sort of rain. And it kept raining. And kept raining. All week.

Tent in snow.
Great weather for getting right back in the sleeping bag. (Maroon Bells Wilderness)

The locals told us it had never stormed so steadily for so long this time of year. We never saw the mountains. There was a mudslide on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, so no one could drive that even if there had been a break in the clouds. The lower roads flooded and the ceiling in our room leaked and the internet went out. The hotel posted a “we may need to evacuate you” notice on our door.

So we spent a vacation that was supposed to be an epic outdoor adventure playing cards in a hotel lobby and eating chocolate from the gift shop, while fellow tourists looked out the window at wet rocks and speculated as to whether they were bears.

The was just one trip, but when I think back on our many years of adventuring, I honestly can’t even tell you the total number of hiking or backpacking trips we have been on where we gave up on part of our route or on a summit attempt due to weather, gear problems, or injuries.

Napping in the desert shade
When you can’t find water and it’s too hot to do anything but wait for sunset. (Grand Canyon)

Fast-forward to today, and we are in the beautiful Red Rock Country of Arizona, having packed the kids out here for some hiking and biking and sunny family photographs. And it’s pouring icy rain for the first time in months.

I have to remind myself that the weather is beyond my control. So are planes getting delayed, kids getting sick, fellow adventurers getting injured, and all the other things that result in us sitting around when we meant to be doing something cool. I try really hard not to spend a lot of mental energy on things I can’t control. Getting worked up about it will do nothing except make me more unpleasant to be around.

So it’s okay to grab a hot tea and just park it by the fireplace and read today. It’s okay that I won’t get my hiking workout done or that C will spend half his day playing video games. It’s okay that the family pictures with the perfectly-lit scenic backdrop will have to wait for another time. We can enjoy today for the lazy, unremarkable day that it is.

The next adventure is just around the corner.

Tea cup by fire
Cheers to the next adventure!

2 Replies to “When Adventure Looks a Lot Like Being Lazy”

  1. I love sometimes the ‘detour’ weather will force on us… Used to go between Christmas and New Years up to Yosemite. Sometimes “the great hike” was actually a walk from Curry Village to the Ahwahnee for tea time in the great room with the huge fireplace… great adventures between squalls poking around the valley with hot chocolate from a vending machine… 🙂

    1. Yes! Hot chocolate from a vending machine adds something special to any adventure. 😀

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