#OptOutside and REI Black Friday

#OptOutside and REI Black Friday

#OptOutside is the hottest hashtag right now, at least in my world. I work part-time for REI and I love it. I have great colleagues, great working conditions and flexibility. Plus, we really embody our mission statement: to inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. So what a great surprise when we learned the Co-op was closing for Black Friday, one of the biggest sales days of the year so we could all be outside. How great is that? Today was my first day back on my mountain trail after being out of country for a couple of weeks and then in recovery from jet lag (and avoiding seriously cold weather) last week. (Ok, excuses really, I could have gotten out there.)  I did plenty of urban hiking while in Germany, like 5 to 10 miles a day and one day even hit 14 miles, but there is nothing like hiking a mountain trail. My magic place is in the woods hiking. But mountains aren’t for everyone or even available to everyone. How about an urban hike? When was the last time you walked your city and looked up at buildings, down alleys, through open windows and doors, stopped and talked to people on the street or patted a dog on the head (ask first please, I’d hate for you to get nipped). There is lots to be seen in your city or town, even if it’s not mountains. Many years ago I lived in a small town in Eastern New Mexico, and while I often disdained my location, I learned to bloom where...