I blame Palo Duro Canyon. Four years ago we took our one and only family vacation with all three boys, and nothing has been the same since. I questioned our sanity to spend a week hiking all the way there. Our boys fought every foot of that 500 mile trip. I vividly remember one kid crying hysterically the last 15 miles because some one had drank the last of his gatorade. But when we drove into that majestic canyon, magic happened. Dueling brothers became best friends, and that mystical canyon wove it's spell around us all. It was one of the best weeks of our lives.
And since that week, we've been seeking adventure in all we do. We visited numerous state and national parks and experienced the beauty of God's creation in so many places. Sunrise to Sunset Days, Wander Wednesdays and Extreme Adventure Saturdays have become a way of life . We barely finish one excursion when I start planning the next. When my husband is driving, I generally start searching for the next fix in the car on the way home!
So as summer approached this year, I knew we needed a solid plan. There aren't many more years left before these boys won't want to hang out with their parents. Pretty soon they will refuse to get up at 5 am for the next great adventure and prefer to spend time with their friends.
Luckily for us, opportunity landed in my lap last month, or rather my inbox, with an email from Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. I only needed to read the headline to know that we were in: The Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt.. Honestly, I didn't even read all the info before I signed us up. I certainly didn't run the numbers, as in how many miles we would be driving to accomplish all the challenges. I still haven't. It's too scary to think about.
30 challenges across the great state of Texas sounded perfect for our insatiable quest for adventure. Some of them are easy, like catch a fish or take a pic with any waterfall. Most are sight specific, like go to San Jacinto Monument or Port Isabel Lighthouse. And one returns us to that magical, mystical canyon, the start of all this craziness; our beloved Palo Duro Canyon and the infamous Lighthouse Trail.
Currently we are 12 challenges in, and we have driven 1605 miles. We've resorted to bribery once or twice to get the boys out of bed before dawn and will likely be bribing them a few more times before all this is said and done. We've already experienced intense beauty on new trails at Mother Neff State Park and unique history at Goliad State Park and Seminole Canyon State Park. We've met the kindest and most interesting park rangers in Texas, and we've just had tons of fun.
I guess the question remains...When and If we finish all 30 challenges, what's next????