By: David Ball
July is the month of long weekends, longer days and hot weather – so how do we make the most of it with the ever-changing health situation in America? For the last couple of years, I’ve spent every Fourth of July weekend climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington, and had planned on giving it a single day effort this year with a few friends I’ve been training with, but given the current COVID situation I decided it was more responsible to stay closer to home and opted to enjoy some peaks in southern Colorado instead.
While the Fourth of July has typically been a day to push myself and “be amongst it” away from much of the world, it was a good change of pace to enjoy a more relaxed environment, something I think a lot of us are looking for and experiencing right now. Being flexible is important, just like in the mountains when weather can roll in at any time and force you to reevaluate your options, a key to enjoying the pinnacle of summer months is to keep that same mindset: be flexible keep your goal a moving target, and enjoy the experience of just being out.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had to reevaluate plans this year, and based on all the good research out there being outside is still one of the safest ways we can enjoy each other’s company, so, what can you do to make the most of your 4th of July, or if you’re a Utah local, 24th of July plans? Let’s dive in:
Hike the tallest mountain, or longest trail, in your local area. This is what my family opted for on the 4th of July this year. With an early morning start to keep the temperature cool you’ll have enough daylight to hike just about any 14’er or smaller local peak in good time, just be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled.
Two Wheeled Adventures: Sure, you may not be able to go to any Fourth of July or Pioneer Day parades, but you can sure make your own. Whether it’s through your local neighborhood, up your favorite canyon or on your local mountain bike trail, you can decorate your bikes to look like the parade you always wanted to be in with your family – especially if you have younger children around. Just make sure they’ve seen Ferris Bueller first.
Go for an Alpine Lake swimming trip. Chances are there are some hidden lakes in your area, the water may be cold, but that will just add to the memory of being there. Do some research and see what you can find in your area on lakes that you’re allowed to swim in that are tucked away and infrequently visited. I’ll even bet there’s a rope swing for you to get scared on while you’re there.
If all else fails, enjoy a nice evening either on your porch in a local park taking in a warm summer evening with some friends or family and appreciate the subtle laziness that lingers in the air during these warm months and think of how much you’ll think back to those moments when the winter months arrive again.
Like Ferris Bueller said, life moves pretty fast, so enjoy the warmth while we have it, the early mornings and long days. Be flexible on your plans and keep your goals a moving target so that no matter what happens you leave having learned something new and are better for it.
About the Author:
David considers himself the ambassador of the “Radically Mediocre” lifestyle. He defines this as being able to “hang with people doing just about anything and not slow them down.” You can find him trying to get people to talk to him about the book he just read in coffee shops, or in the western U.S. getting pumped out on scary trad leads (and follows), skydiving, split-boarding and trail running in his home mountain range, the Wasatch, with his dog Margo. Follow him on instagram at @DavidDenverBall.