The damp, cool air of the Pacific Northwest can be just as refreshing and soul-nourishing as sunbeams soaking into my skin and bones. While I miss the daily dose of Vitamin D and my community in sunny Venice, I've discovered what makes my adventures tick with soul-boosting energy - do it with people I love and bring food, really really good food.
Living in Seattle, we leave the bustling city that excites us on a weekly basis in search of nature, tree tops, perfect waves, expanse and quiet. For me, there's nothing more satisfying than sitting above the clouds, perched on a mountain top sipping coffee after a heart pumping climb, camping in the middle of nowhere and whipping up hearty fare over a warm open fire, crafting a delicious spread on a sandy beach with the hum of waves as your music, or like this day, foraging in the rain for nettles and harvesting clams and oysters at dusk, knowing that a comforting meal is at the tip of your fingers. Hiking, ski touring, summiting, surfing, beaching, mountain biking, city pedaling, flower sniffing, you name it: forget the nuts and seeds, I'll carry ten extra pounds on my back to have a better-than-average picnic and be able to share that experience with friends and family, gazing over an infinite valley of dust and snow. That's what makes my soul sing.
I fully grasp that not everyone seeks adventure in this way, including my main squeeze, and that's ok. Some get out there purely for the thrill of achievement and the pushing the edge of personal limits, getting outside in nature away from the daily woes of a desk, accomplishing climbs and rides to compare notes with friends on who completed it with a faster time, climbed a higher elevation or who envisioned something more epic than the time before. I can get on board with that, for sure, but what really awakens the adventure-seeker in me is looking at each experience as an opportunity to simultaneously impart a sense of freedom to break the rules a bit and create an eternal memory and inspired menu, no matter what we're about to do. And the most exciting part, is sharing that part of my soul with friends and family and toasting life over a majestic view. This is my canvas. What's yours?