Making the Best of it

Our lunch spot for the day.

Sometimes, adventures don’t turn out the way you planned. Sometimes, whole new adventures appear when one slips away. That happened to us this weekend. We set out to go to a National Forest in Huntsville that was reported to be open (including a phone call to them confirming their being open) to ride our mountain bikes. There are lots of trails and wooded areas we were looking forward to riding through.

When we arrived, however, we found the gate chained. Not to be deterred, we drove down the road some more and found another park, but this one was closed for day-use and restricted to RV overnight use only. Running out of options, we found a boat launch that had a nice long wooded road that we were able to set up our lunch at. We opened up the awning, pulled out our food, and had a lovely time looking at Lake Livingston and watching some people catch fish. I rode my bike for just a little bit to stretch my legs, but the day’s trip turned more into driving than riding bikes.

The awning is getting a lot of use!

The highlight of the trip for me wasn’t the beautiful and scenic views or listening to the birds chirp. It was when my wife told me on our way back home that when I first told her I wanted to get a 4Runner to go off-roading and do overlanding, she was skeptical and wasn’t enthusiastic about it. She said she preferred hotels and wine trails over the outdoors. But then COVID-19 changed everything, and the types of places she likes to go to were unavailable, yet she still wanted to get out of the house. She said that the 4Runner has really opened up the world to us, and it allowed us to go out and do things we otherwise would have been unable to do. She is now enthusiastic about picnics, camping, off-reading, and she even bought two Tucktec kayaks for us!

I knew I’d enjoy having a 4Runner, but I didn’t realize how dramatically it would change our view on adventuring and how my wife and I spend our spare time together. I am looking forward to going on wine trails and staying at bed and breakfasts in the future, but now we also have the option of camping, going off-road, and seeing things that wouldn’t be possible in the old sedan.

By PaleoMarine

Former active duty Marine who went from 170 lbs to 328 lbs and decided that he had to change his life or die. He lost 130 lbs in 1 year through Whole30 and adopting the Paleo Diet without doing any exercise at all. Since starting running, he's lost an additional 20 lbs and is comfortably back in the 170 lbs range. He is a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard and writes multiple blogs about topics he is passionate about.

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