REI really started something in the popular media. They suggested that we all go outside on Black Friday, the supposedly busiest shopping day of the year. Instead of getting up early to catch a sale at a big box store, America was going to go to a park, a forest, a trail or lake. And to prove that they really meant it, REI said it was going to close its stores for the day and encourage their staff to get out. Just as important, REI was paying its employees and not making a statement on the backs of their workers.
Needless to say, it made national news and created a hashtag #optoutside. Now, the Bernsteins have been doing this for years, with our son and now with our grandkids. In this area, we’ve taken them to Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, the NC Arboretum and Dupont State Forest.
Today, we again took everyone to Dupont. Most of the trails in the forest are very gentle and there’s lots to see. The waterfalls are the main attractions but there are also three lakes.
From the Visitor Center parking lot, we took Conservation Road to Bridal Veil Falls. It’s an outstanding waterfall, from a distance but the girls-Hannah, 12 and Isa, 6 years old- wanted to explore it close and personal.
So I followed Isa closely as she climbed up and down slippery rocks and made decisions on which route to take to get closer and closer.
No saying “be careful” or “don’t fall”, as these words are meaningless.
Only by going with children and participating, can you encourage them to have fun outdoors. She got quite close and just as important made it back to land, safely.
We then headed back to Conservation Road and on Three Lakes Trail: Lake Julia, Lake Alford, where we had lunch, and last, Lake Dense.
By then, the rest of the world had #opt outside. We shared the trail with bikers, equestrians and many families. Groups gathered at High Falls; maybe that was the only place they went to but that was OK. They were outside.
Will this trend continue? What did you do today?