Sunday, January 24, 2010

Polar Caves and Local Adventuring

From the reverse: "Polar Caves, one of America's most beautiful natural attractions, are located on scenic Route 25, five miles west of interstate Route 93 and the lovely college town of Plymouth, N.H."

Perhaps its a bit of hyperbole to call Polar Caves "one of America's most beautiful attractions." I mean, there's some stiff competition out there - the Grand Canyon, White Sands, Yellowstone, Yosemite... maybe a more realistic comment might have been "one of New Hampshire's most beautiful natural attractions." I'm kidding, of course, because Polar Caves is a very cool place and I have fond memories of visiting as a kid. That strange miner/elf dude on the sign has been replaced with a couple of polar bears.

My family weren't much for long trips, but they were consummate local adventurers. For example, we visited probably every roadside attraction in New Hampshire: Clark's Trading Post, Santa's Village, the Flume, Six Gun City, and the list goes on. As a teenager, I was real envious of folks who went on international trips and to cool places around the country, but I've come to appreciate what a real skill it is to get the most out of where you live. Now I go on international trips, road trips, and cool places around the country. I find that a lot of other folks travel big too, but they aren't good local adventurers. I've learned not to talk to Arizonans about places in Arizona in a way that implies they've been there, because, chances are, they've never been.  In two and a half years we've been to amazing places here that my friends and students who have lived here their whole lives have never heard of. Am I bragging? I don't think so. I'm not just clever; rather, I learned from my family that you don't need to go far or spend a lot to find amazing things and it's a lesson I've grown to really value and appreciate. My wife and I are now second generation local adventurers. I'd like to think that comes across in this blog...

So if you're looking for something to do in New England or Arizona, I'll be more than happy to provide suggestions. And if you know of something rad in Arizona that you think I'll appreciate, please send it my way!

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