I was very adventurous as a child. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say something crazy like I was the outdoorsy type, I had many opportunities to do fun things outside.
Not just swimming, biking, skating and playing outside like a regular kid, although I did my share of that too. We had real outdoor adventures like camping, boating and four-wheeling. It wasn’t a regular weekend thing, rather grand adventures for special occasions that left lasting memories.
Some of the best memories are from our days at a family cattle ranch. For more than 30 years, Thanksgiving in our house meant time at the ranch. We didn’t use fine china and wear fancy clothes for Thanksgiving dinner; instead we used paper plates, wore play clothes and camped in RVs. And for those three days each year, it was all about exploring, playing and four-wheeling.
I don’t know how old I was when I was first allowed to drive a four-wheeler. But to me, being allowed to drive the four-wheeler by myself on the open ranch was an experience like none other.
I remember driving out to the middle of a pasture and parking to just lie on that four-wheeler and look at the world around me. For a kid from suburbia, it was pure freedom. Of course, I couldn’t be gone too long because there were cousins eagerly waiting their turn at the wheel.
I am not so adventuresome these days, and I am not sure I will ever be ready to let my girls drive a motor vehicle – ever – but once upon a time I was a four-wheeling kid, at least for one weekend a year.
Just look at how pleased I am with myself.