One of my favorite things about living where I live is that I have the ability to hike all year round and other than putting on the proper attire, it doesn’t take a lot of effort. I can walk out my door and within minutes be at a trailhead. If I hop in my car, expand my choices dramatically — especially if I’m willing to drive an hour or two. As more time passes, I find myself increasingly drawn to my hiking shoes and the adventure that comes with putting them on. There’s something truly beautiful about leaving behind pavement and being surrounded by nature, and my ability to hit the trail is rapidly becoming something I need multiple times a week if not daily.
This means, that when my coworkers and I hiked together at lunch for the second year in a row, I was struck by how lucky I am to work where I do. To be in an environment where we can take a little longer lunch to enjoy being outside together and to experience what the community around us brings to the table has been instrumental in both my job satisfaction and the relationships I have with my coworkers.
I love that we can work towards a common goal and that we push each other to be better. I love that we can take some time to do this outside of the office, during a time when as many of us are available as possible. It gives us a relaxed space to discuss what we’re into, what we’re looking forward to. Sure we have staff parties during the holidays, but that time is not the same as the time we spend in the woods walking and talking. Experiencing the area were we live and working towards the common goal of wanting to see something beautiful. The fire tower is a tall structure, to climb the many steps to the top and we encourage each other the entire way up (and down) because the view from the top is worth it.
These moments allow us to see that we bring different things to the table, something that’s easy to forget when you’re all doing your respective jobs and don’t see each other every day. But the best part is that we take this back with us when leaving the trail. We leave feeling lighter, happier and feeling a stronger sense of community, all because of leaf season and it’s beauty.