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What will inspire you to try something new? (2012)


The dusty backpacks move out of barn storage into the daylight.

A magnet keeps a picture of a pristine, mountain lake tacked to our refrigerator. I’ve watched YouTube videos of hikers trekking to this spot. I’ve noted the miles (6-8 depending on the source, one-way) and elevation gain (3,200 feet). And sometime late this summer or early fall, my husband and I will toss our new water purifiers into our backpacks and take off.

We haven’t backpacked in years. Our packs, although good models 15 years ago, are now “retro.” We’re combing the web to compare lightweight sleeping bags, pads and tents. Half the fun is planning and that’s well under way, but what sparked the inspiration?

What will trigger you to try something new or return to a favorite pastime? Could it be a friend’s  experience, a compelling book or good memories? In my case, the impetus came from all three.

Is an adventure simmering in your subconscious? Think about it. I bet you will make it happen this summer.

If something hasn’t jumped to mind, try backpacking. It doesn’t have to be a long trip and you might not need a “true” backpack. The Brooke Creek Hike-in camp at Stub Stewart Memorial State Park is just ¼-mile walk from the welcome center. Twenty-three primitive campsites with picnic tables, community fire rings, drinking water and vault toilets are waiting for you. Plus, you have more than 20 miles of trails. If showers are really important, you can find them in the main campgrounds.

Maybe you’re in a campground rut. Your favorite campgrounds and state parks are comfortable, but try some new ones. More than 50 state parks have campgrounds and their diversity offers something for just about everybody. And this month, 13 seasonal campgrounds are opening for the summer.  Also, Oregonians are really lucky to have numerous county and federal campgrounds to explore.

So, what are you going to try first?