Introduction to the 60 Mile Series
To begin this introduction, it is important that the stage be set. And one of the main players on this stage is the love of my life– poetry. Let me introduce you to one of my favourite poets (from the 20th century at least), Mary Oliver. Lines of her poetry are littered across oodles of notebooks, random decor and pottery pieces in my house.
The other player on the stage is a chain of events. Recently we were inspired to bring about a new series we are calling the 60 Mile Series. This idea came out of a visit to St. Walburg, a conversation with a co-worker and an old road map (edit: in reality, it was two maps we taped together since we had to cover two provinces… border city life, y’all).
For some reason, when inputting the town of St. Walburg into the GPS the other day, we were shocked to find that it was only 57 minutes from Lloyd. (I’m not sure why we were shocked– we’ve been there many times before. But we often don’t live our lives by clocks and time frames). That’s barely an hour of travelling, guys! Then it got us thinking. If St. Walburg is only an hour away, what else is within a 60-mile radius of our hometown? What other things can be discovered with a free afternoon, a full tank of gas and $30 bucks in our pockets?
A co-worker recently mentioned that she no longer asks people what they have planned for the weekend. Because not a lot of people seem to really get out and about. Which was shockingly NOT shocking. If this was one of those draggable Instagram polls, the “most common answer” would be “I didn’t do a lot this weekend.” Because no one wants to admit that they just ordered pizza and binge watched shows. Or they just plan to stay at home with their kids, make pancakes and clean their house. While this is productive, it hardly seems exciting enough to share. And sometimes, no one does anything because they automatically think they need to go to Edmonton or Saskatoon if they are going “out of town”. We decided to change the conversation. Let’s prove that it’s possible to spend some time exploring neat things close to home, without the commitment of long drives and complicated travelling.
We got our old road map(s) out, created a makeshift protractor out of a string and a marker (would not recommend) and created our radius. An idea had been born. After drawing a 60-mile radius around Lloydminster, we made a list of places that fell within the distance. The list is long—longer than we expected! We laughed in astonishment and decided that this series is a go.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
Who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say,
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
And bow their heads.
‘Mysteries, Yes’ Mary Oliver
The mission behind the 60 Mile Series is to give wings to all of us explorers, and to help hurdle some of the challenges we face when we think about spending time on the road. Whether it be limited funds or time, or the fact that you don’t love long road trips with your children, we hope you are inspired to visit some of the places we will be sharing. This series is also, in part, linked to the fact that we love sharing our travel stories.
It bears emphasis that these are just things we do. It’s who we are. We go on adventures. We travel and explore. We don’t purposely go out to have adventures. Sometimes we just get up and decide to drive. Often, we find that the times we TRY to have an adventure are the times that nothing out of the ordinary happens. This unintentional adventure-ing is the spirit that we intend to bring to the 60 Mile Series.
Mary Oliver passed away in January of this year. It didn’t make a huge splash in the media—I remember finding out through a weird, internet click and just happened to come across an article about her passing. Though gone, her words live on and continue to help us stay amazed.
If you are just discovering Mary Oliver through this blog—it was a pleasure to introduce you. If you are familiar with her work but are just getting reacquainted—you’re welcome. You’ll meet her again—her quotes will most likely be interlaced throughout the 60 Mile Series.
If you are looking for quick trips close to Lloydminster and things to do this summer, please join us. We would love to have you along for the ride!
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“First you figure out what each one means by itself,
then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.”
– Mary Oliver