Armand Bayou Nature Center

Since our Christmas camping plans were cancelled, we did the best we could come up with. We drove five minutes down the street to Armand Bayou Nature Center for an afternoon picnic and walk. They have five miles of easy trails, bison!, and an old turn-of-the-century farmhouse. I spent a lot of time there as a kid. I remember it being bigger but I guess everything’s bigger as a kid. My elementary school had a program that took “gifted and talented”, whatever that means, kids on weekly trips to Armand Bayou or the university nearby for classes they were interested in. For the most part, I feel like being in those types of programs in junior high and high school was a waste of time. I don’t feel like I gained anything from it other than extra homework. That off-campus elementary program, on the other hand, was amazing. Letting kids choose what they were interested in and then letting them focus on that very thing was an excellent idea. It’s too bad I didn’t get to do the same thing in the grades to follow.

Two of the classes I took were at Armand Bayou. I didn’t know it at the time but they would help shape major parts of my personality. One class was marine biology. I did my first dissection in fifth grade. Taking things apart to see how they worked reached a whole new level. The best part was that, unlike misc electronics at home, I didn’t get in trouble for it. Sure, it was just a fish, but it would make for a seamless transition to post-mortem evisceration later on down the line, allowing me to meet my super rad husband at work. It also made me realize I am terrified of murky water, ending my dream of becoming a marine biologist forever. I can’t remember what the other class was called…. environmental science… environmental history? We helped raise animals and grew vegetables in the garden at the farmhouse. We churned butter, carded wool into roving for yarn, canned pickles, weaved baskets, and fashioned corn husk dolls. It was like living on Pinterest Island! I fell in love with old things and making things with my hands. Something about it makes you feel like you earned it that way. It’s faster and easier to use power tools in the garage but every time I sand something by hand … use the hand saw instead of the circular saw … I feel like I earned it. I earned it with aching muscles and sweat and the occasional drop of blood. I never said I was any good at it.

So… Here I am. Here I am with a supportive husband and an urge to earn my miles to Katahdin. :)

The waiting is killing me BUT my cat is down to one pill a day instead of three times a day. I can finally untether myself from the house! Planning a little solo three-day trip this weekend to test out some gear I got during the holidays: trail runners, tent, trekking poles, water filter, and pStyle. I’ve actually already tested the pStyle at home. It is awesome. It would be even more awesome if I could remember to zip my fly back up when I’m done. I don’t know how you dudes do it.

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