ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO, my husband and I packed up our life in Brooklyn, New York, and relocated permanently to Salt Lake City, about 20 minutes from where I grew up. As middle-aged New Yorkers with a kid and a dog, we realised we were spending a hell of a lot more time strategising Trader Joe’s grocery runs than bopping around the Museum of Modern Art the way we did in our 20s. Would we have deathbed regrets if we didn’t take advantage of our able bodies and cartilage-swathed knees? Instead of sticking around NYC to find out the hard way, we hightailed it out West to spend winters jump-turning in hip-deep powder and mainlining the shimmering sunlight that—turns out—is what makes these sinewy mountain folk tan in February. When summer came, we took up road cycling and bought a couple of paddleboards. We even got another dog—and a canine life jacket so Griff could join us on the water. It was all very Subaru Outback commercial. I felt like I had officially earned mountain-jock status .
Well, almost. I had what some outdoor enthusiasts might consider a major character flaw that bonds indoorsy types around the globe: I loathed camping. There was nothing I found refreshing or therapeutic about sleeping in the dirt. (Attention Camping Industrial Complex: we all know sleeping pads are about as comfortable as a motel bathtub.) I associated a night under the stars with wet socks and scooping ham fried rice into my piehole while trying not to think about the sinister sounds emanating from the woods.
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