by Emma Sarles
Like so many others, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted my family to get outdoors more than ever. Weekends that may have otherwise been spent at stores, restaurants, or a friends house were spent going on long hikes and walks, exploring the area around our home.
I often have such an itch to travel and explore new places I forget to appreciate the beautiful natural area around my home. In the past 9 months I have discovered a town park with hiking trails less than a half mile down the street from my house that I never knew was there, I explored an entirely new section of trails at a nearby park, and discovered new parks and trailheads in nearby towns I had never taken the time to explore.
While 2020 has been tough and this new way of life is far less than ideal, as I reflect on the year, the extra time spent with my fiancée and home with my dog and the adventures the three of us experienced in our own backyard glisten like diamonds in the rough.