1. Trying to stand up and breathe in super high winds on top of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast U.S. at elevation 6,288 feet above sea level, with average monthly winds at 35 miles per hour.
2. Trekking through the Northern Forest and happening upon a bull moose fight over the females in the area, which were also in view.
3. Setting out for a canoe trip in the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge at 6AM in Autumn in the fog with frost building on the gunnels and on every colored leafy plant along shore.
4. Biking for 2 miles on a logging road in the Great North Woods and stopping at a remote pond to listen to nothing (except birds and bugs).
5. Cross country skiing downhill in over a foot of powdery snow in the Belknap Mountains...the softness feels like floating on clouds with the lightweight equipment.
6. Waking up in a lean-to shelter in the White Moutains and the first cool breath smells like balsam fir Christmas Trees.
7. Having a picnic lunch at one of the two picnic tables at the entrance to The Old Man of The Mountain Historic Site museum. Franconia Notch can be mobbed with cars and people but we're always the only party at this picnic spot with a view of the majestic cliffs rising to Franconia Ridge along with a huge field in which kids can run.
8. Eating a real lobster roll at The Beach Plum and then visiting Wallis Sands Beach after 5:30 in late August to have the entire place to ourselves to enjoy the surf and the moon.
9. Eating ice cream in a homemade almond bowl at Trails' End Ice Cream Shoppe in Bartlett.
10. Imagining living back when trains were much more popular while biking over two remaining covered train bridges on the Sugar River Trail (Newport-Claremont).
11. Finding a wildflower growing in a pond that has geometric-shaped legs to float on water--the yellow bladderwort.
12. Snowshoeing in three feet of fluffy snow for about ten minutes and then saying, "Who wants to take a turn, next?"
13. Discovering a series of huge beaver dams along a stream after heading off a trail just to "pee in the woods."
14. Pregnant and finally dozing off in my tent at a campsite on the Connecticut River, suddenly hearing trees being felled by beavers.
15 Seeing ferns and bushes move in front of me on the Cohos Trail, then watching a fisher (aka fisher cat, although it is in the weasel family) climb out of them and up a tree.
16. Arriving at the top of Mount Washington after hiking up from the south in the warm summer rain that drove from the west, noticing that only the left side of my rain gear was wet.
17. Hearing rustling on the ground getting closer and closer until I saw two mink chasing each other right by my feet along the Suncook River.
18. Seeing the Milky Way, night, after night, after night.
19. While paddling a canoe, eagles swooping over my shoulder to grab egg/chicks from nests near shore (red-winged blackbirds) or in the water (loons), and then landing either on shore or up in a tree to feed.
I love spending days and nights outdoors. There's so much to experience, feel, and learn. In my opinion, nature is way more interesting than staring at a screen. To get outside and be comfortable, dress appropriately for the weather, take some backcountry and survival courses, bring the correct gear, clothing, food and water, go with someone who knows the rules and the way (or do a lot of research and make wise decisions regarding weather and trail conditions), and have fun!