*This post was sponsored by CLIF bar, but all opinions are my own.
One of the things I love most is deciding on which far-flung destination I’ll head to for my next adventure… whether that means heli-hiking on a glacier in New Zealand, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or trekking around ancient ruins in Indonesia. While finding adventures across the globe is what fuels my wanderlust, I was recently reminded that you can find adventure right in your own city without even having to catch a flight.
Get outside and seek adventure!
I can easily give you recommendations of what to do and see around the globe, however, I may actually have a tougher time coming up with ideas for new adventures in my own backyard. I’m based out of Atlanta and sometimes find myself thinking of the city solely as my landing pad between destinations. This May I was home without having to hop on a plane for almost a solid month. Having this breather for a few weeks was great to regroup and try to catch up on work before my next trip, but I started to become antsy with wanderlust, so why not partake in an adventure in my own city?
Try a new activity or learn a new skill.
I was recently invited to attend an event hosted by CLIF Bar and REI for a day of adventure at Stone Mountain Park. The day started at the Stone Mountain Boathouse where REI instructors taught me how to stand up paddle board. Having never paddle boarded before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than the fact that my poor balance would likely mean I’d be spending a fair amount of time “enjoying” the cool lake water… Surprisingly, thanks to excellent instructions, patience and encouragement from the REI instructors, I didn’t fall off the board once!
The instructors were very aware of my novice skill level and were extremely helpful, teaching me how to get on the board, stand up from a kneeling position and several different paddle strokes, but they also taught the more experienced participants new skills to hone so they were challenged too. After I got the hang of it, I had a blast paddling around the lake with the group.
Try an activity that you’ve done before in a new way.
My Atlanta adventure didn’t end when the paddle boarding session did. We weren’t going to just admire Stone Mountain from the lake – we were going to climb up it. Since Stone Mountain isn’t terribly far from where I live in Atlanta, I’ve climbed the mountain plenty of times before, but I hadn’t experienced it quite like this…
We began our 2.5 mile hike at the boathouse and along the Cherokee Trail before starting our ascent up the mountain. When we reached the top, we were rewarded with a great view of the sun setting behind the city’s skyline, refreshments to rehydrate and CLIF Nut Butter Filled Bars.
I’d been going-going-going all day long and didn’t realize how beat I was until I stopped to enjoy the view. I also realized that, as many times as I’ve climbed Stone Mountain in the past, I’ve never stayed to enjoy the sunset. Typically, I admire the view just long enough to catch my breath before starting my decent. It felt great to relax, refuel and watch the pink and purple sky slowly transition to darkness.
The peanut butter CLIF Nut Butter Filled Bar gave me the energy boost I needed to finish my day of adventure. If you’re an active adventurer, you’re probably already familiar with CLIF bars and know that the company crafts their bars to feed your adventure and provide you with the energy you need while tearing up the slopes, working up a sweat or hitting the hiking trail.
Prior to my Stone Mountain adventure, CLIF had sent me some of their new Nut Butter Filled Bars to try, and I’ve found myself completely in love with them. The creamy nut butter inside the organic energy bar stands out from any others I’ve tried – they are absolutely delicious! My favorite flavors are the Peanut Butter and Coconut Almond Butter.
Before I knew it, the sun had set and I was enveloped in darkness aside from the city’s twinkling lights, but my day of adventure wasn’t over yet. What goes up must come down, so we began our decent into the darkness. Luckily, we were outfitted with headlamps to illuminate our path down Stone Mountain.
Hungry for adventure? Here’s what you’ll need to recreate this day of fun in Atlanta at Stone Mountain Park:
- work out clothes for hiking
- hiking boots or sneakers
- water bottle
- sunglasses and/or hat
- day pack to carry your gear
- CLIF Nut Butter Filled Bars
- a sense of adventure
Don’t live close to Atlanta? You can find adventure in your own city.
In need of some inspiration, hoping to learn a new skill or re-discover an activity in a new way? Check out the classes, outings and events offered by REI to find adventure in your own city.
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