RAMBLIN: TASTE THE WILD. 2015 BUCKET LIST. BY JENNIFER SPROUSE

ramblin january 2015 lbspy

As humans we are always in a state of procrastination – always saying that we will get to that project tomorrow, visit that desired destination next year, and try that new activity next time. Eventually we look back and realize that a significant portion of time has passed and all we have managed to do is kiss another year goodbye without accomplishing all of the things we wanted to do.

The start of the New Year brings new possibilities and the chance to start living life instead of watching it slip past. It’s time to toss the looming New Year’s resolutions aside and to define the year in a different way- by making a bucket list.

The beauty of the bucket list is that it is fluid- it can be changed, expanded, far-reaching, easily accomplished, or anything you desire. It is not a test of your willpower (as is the case with resolutions), but rather a document of desire that will leave you with a growing sense of accomplishment as each item is completed. It is a growing experience and a reminder to tend to your adventurous side. So in honor of rambling around the southeastern region of West Virginia and beyond, here are suggestions for a 2015 bucket list to get you started:

Get close to the sky. Hike to the top of Peters Mountain in Monroe County to experience the 360° view from the Hanging Rock Observatory. You might even spot some birds of prey, which are known to frequent the area and whose sightings are logged and counted in the tower’s books.

Taste the wild. Attend the annual Williamsburg Ramp Dinner in Greenbrier County and sample the pungent little plant that keeps West Virginians eagerly waiting for more until early spring each year.

Go with the flow. West Virginia is famous for its white water rafting; it is time that you explored its waterways through one of the great many river trips offered in the Fayetteville/Oak Hill area of Fayette County. Many rafting companies offer a number of other outdoor adventures as well, such as zip lining, rock climbing, ropes courses, and more.

Shop in the sun. Spend your Sunday browsing the Pence Springs Flea Market in beautiful Summers County. There you can find antiques, produce, new products, concessions, and more.

Connect with nature. Let the natural beauty of Babcock State Park fill your senses. Hike the overlook trails and see nature from above, fish the trout streams, and explore the boulder-filled canyon creek below one of West Virginia’s most iconic sights- Glade Creek Grist Mill.

Watch cinema under the stars. Pile into your favorite vehicle and ride into Fayette County to the Meadow Bridge Drive In for some fresh air, a double feature, and some of their noteworthy pizza.

Meddle with nettle. Support High Rocks Academy at their Annual Nettlefest Jamboree in Pocahontas County that celebrates a plant that is both loved and loathed. With live music, dancing, food, nettle tastings, and more, the event is a must-attend summer tradition.

Swing a little. Head to Paint Bank in Alleghany County, Virginia and dine at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant. Sample some of their most popular dishes featuring buffalo that were raised just down the road. You can saunter across the swinging bridge that hangs over the dining area, shop in the upstairs gift shop, browse through the adjacent general store, or venture across the road to stroll along the meandering stream on the Depot Lodge grounds.

Whether you follow these suggestions or opt to create your own ideas, may your bucket list be ever-growing, your adventures fulfilling, and your desire to explore insatiable. Ramble on!

– Jennifer Sprouse. LBSPY #61. January 2015.

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