With the weekend always right around the corner, it's time to think about plans. How about trying this - keep the wallet at home and figure out how to spend two whole days without spending a dime. I was taking a look at an article a few days ago, and something caught my eye. The author talked about locking their wallet in the drawer, and figuring out how to spend time without dishing out cash along the way. This concept was interesting to me in a few different ways. First, I looked back over the past few months and I thought about the weekends that really mattered in terms of memories and experiences. You know what? The best ones were free.
You see, the best experiences are so much more about using what you have in a new and creative way. About visiting places you should be been years ago, but life was just too busy to slow down and go. Here are three of my best weekends from this summer, where I spent almost nothing, but had a blast.
1. Subway Caves - About an hour West of me, is a small 1/2 mile lava tunnel called the subway cave. It's a deep, dark hole in the middle of tumbleweed and dry grass pastureland near Mt. Lassen. This tunnel has a remarkable smooth roof, and stays about 65 degrees all year, and it is the darkest place I have ever been. I took the family out there one morning for the first time, figured a walk through the cave and lunch by the softly flowing Hat Creek would be a good break from the valley heat. While there was no moment of transcendence, we had a great time and I got to see the wonder and hint of fear as my girls stared down into a gaping black hole; one wanted to go home while the other ran headlong into the adventure.
2. A Midnight Hike - This adventure took me to the top of a local wonder called Castle Crags, a towering granite feature that rises from the surrounding forest like fingers reaching for the sky. The best views from this lofty perch are caught during a full moon when the whole area is bathed in a faded white glow. Keep in mind the woods are no picnic in the dark, so be sure to bring along plenty of light and a fully charged cell phone just in case. A few friends and some sandwiches was all it took to make it a hike that we'll talk about for years to come.
3. Book in the Park - While not as grand as a mountaintop jaunt, a full day in the park with a good book and a hammock is just hard to beat. I cleared my schedule, walked to the nearest shaded park, and set up between two trees. This break in the busy side of life was a clean and easy way to reset and head back into the week well rested, and well read.
Those are just a few moments in the past year that cost little to nothing, but really gave me a lasting memory. There are definitely opportunities for you to do the same wherever you may call home, so plan a break soon, and let us know how you spend your well-earned time.