Spring is finally here! And due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we’re all going to spend as little of it outside as possible. There’s no getting around it: it’s a bummer. But with a little imagination, we can still do all the things we love to do. Let’s go on an outdoor adventure right now!

“Hey! Thanks for stopping by this morning.

What do you want to do today?”

1 – Go for a Hike

2 – Have a Picnic

3 – Take a Bike Trip

4 – Rent a Canoe

5 – Visit the Beach

6 – Go Plogging

1 – Go for a Hike

Well, where do you want to go hiking?

I like a nice lookout. For me, it’s not a hike unless there’s a break in the trees and you can look at some water!


Do you want to bring some bird seed? If you hold real still, sometimes songbirds land on your hand and have a bite to eat!

No? You just want to travel light, eh? Well, we should at least take water bottles.
You drive. I’ll navigate.

We don’t have to imagine the drive. We’re at the trail. Smell those trees! And the sound of the wind making its way through the branches… And is that the sound of water I hear faintly in the distance? That’s what I’m talking about! Let’s get to it!

Hmm. The trail still seems pretty muddy. Careful not to slip.

Hey! Did you hear that? That sounded like a brown-beaked whatchamacallit! Oh, It’s a chickadee? Well look at Dr. Ornithologist here.

Check out this neat rock wall! Look at the moss growing all over it! And the water coming off it. How clean do you think this water is? No! I’m not planning on drinking it; I’m just making conversation!

We’re starting to climb now. It’s a lot easier to walk up such a steep hill when you’re just imagining it. We must be getting pretty close to the lookout by now, I see a break in the trees.

WOW! Look at how blue the water is. It must be pretty windy down there, see all the whitecaps? You can see clear across to the other side. Do you think there are people on the other side wondering if there are people on this side?

Hey! Don’t get too close to the edge now, the rocks are still wet from last night’s rain. Did you get enough pictures for your instagram story? Do you think it’s time to head back? Alright, let’s go.

2 – Have a Picnic

What do you like to take on your picnics? Fresh fruit is a given. I have some grapes in my fridge. No! Don’t take that apple! It’s been next to some cured meat and has acquired a weird smoky flavour. Do you like hummus? I’ll pack some of that, too, plus some pita chips. What do you like on your sandwiches? I prefer egg sandwiches with a lot of hot sauce and some avocado!

You brought the wine? Great!

The mill dam is walking distance from here. We can set down our picnic blanket there and watch some ducks!

Whoof! It’s a little brisk. It’s nice in the sun, but you definitely need another layer. At least the ground is dry!

Look! There’s a nice place to set up, down by that tree. We should eat our sandwiches first so they don’t get cold. Oh! Here come some ducks. Good thing we remembered to bring some corn for them. They look pretty hungry, even though I know they all get more than enough to eat at Harrison Park. Do you think they’ll stop by for a visit or just carry on?

Well, that answers that question. What a bunch of snobs those guys can be. I wasn’t going to give up my grapes to some waterfowl.

I’m going to crack open this package of hummus. It pairs nicely with this wine you brought!

Look at all these houses that back onto the river. I think if I won the lottery I’d buy every last one and live in a different one each day.

Hey, we’d better get going. That cloud looks pretty menacing, and I don’t like getting caught in the rain.

3 – Take a Bike Trip

Do you just want to bike along the bay? Grey Road 1 is a nice trip if you’ve got it in you! Pack a water bottle and some snacks to refuel at our halfway point. I think we can do it. It is only imaginary, after all. You ready? Let’s get on our bikes. It takes a little while for the water to become visible, but it’s worth it once we get out there! Getting up all these hills is the worst part of this trip.

See? We’re coming up to the bend now! Look at how the sun catches the waves like tiny stars out there!

These are some terribly considerate drivers today. They’re all giving us plenty of space. I had a few close calls last time I took this trip, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this time.

Here comes another hill. This one’s a killer. We should stop at the top for a sip of water and a handful of nuts and berries.

How far do you want to take this road? We’ve just gone past Indian Falls. Do you want to see if we can get to Cobble Beach today? I’m still pretty rusty after a long winter, and you look like you could use a bit of a break, too! We can stop down by the water. If memory serves, there’s a wooden statue of a captain that we can take a picture with!
How about on our way home we stop downtown and get a bite to eat? I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t feel like cooking tonight! We’re almost at Cobble now, but this hill leading down to the water looks like it’ll be tough to bike back up.

We can visit the captain another day after we’ve gotten our bike legs back. Are bike legs a thing? I’ve heard of sea legs before. Anyway, let’s head home along Balmy Beach Road here. It’s flatter, and a much easier ride. Less traffic, too.

Where did you want to eat after this? I’ll get you a drink; we’ve earned it.

4 – Rent a Canoe

I haven’t been in a canoe for the better part of 15 years, but it’s probably like riding a bike, right? It’s not a bad day to get out, either. It’s a bit overcast, but there’s no rain in the forecast. I don’t mind weather like this. Sometimes the sun can be a little too much. I don’t want to sweat in a canoe.

We should drive to Harrison Park because we’ll probably be tired after our excursion.

Have you rented a canoe at Harrison Park before? Oh, you have? Good. I’d have no idea who to talk to.

OK! Let’s get going! You sit up front. I’ll get in first… WOAH! I almost went in on that one! I guess it’s not like riding a bike after all. I’ll hold it steady as best I can while you get in.

Wow, you sure had an easier time getting in than I did.

It’s a different view than I’m used to. I usually just stick to the trails, but gliding along the river is pretty nice, too! What do you think? It’s pretty peaceful. Nobody else seems to be on the water today.

Oh look! The first flowers are starting to come up, and the trees are just beginning to bud. I can’t believe how green everything is already! Let’s slow down for a minute and listen. You hear the wind rustling up last year’s dead leaves? Hey! That was a woodpecker knocking his head against a tree. Listen, he’ll do it again. Can you hear the roar of the falls from here? They’re very active this time of year because of the thaw. No? Just my imagination? Ah well.

Looks like we’ve gone as far as we can go. It gets kind of rocky from here and I’m not confident enough in my canoeing abilities to maneuver around them. What say we head back home now? I’m not as wiped out as I expected to be from this, but I’m still glad we drove here!

5 – Visit the Beach

Are you kidding? It’s too cold to go to the beach just yet! Pick something else.

6 – Go Plogging

I hadn’t heard of this either until a few days ago! It’s jogging while picking up garbage!
It’s a pretty good way to help clean up the neighbourhood while getting in some exercise.

You can hold the bag and I’ll pick up the garbage.

Let’s limber up a little before getting going. I don’t want to pull a muscle picking up a Coffee Crisp wrapper, you know?

Some basic stretches ought to do it! I don’t really know what counts as a basic stretch, but if we touch our toes a few times, that should do it, right? I’m really not knowledgeable about this in any way, so it would be a bad idea to take my advice.

I’m no jogger, but I bet we can get a good deal of the neighbourhood tidied up!

Let’s just go until the bag fills up.

OK! I’ll grab that potato chip bag. Why haven’t you opened the garbage bag yet? Got it? Here’s some garbage for you!

I’ll leave that orange peel, it’ll decompose or feed a squirrel or something.

Some water bottles here for ya! Coffee cups and cookie packaging! Looks like that garbage bag’s getting a little cumbersome. Do you want to switch? Alright!

Grab that fast food cup! And that juice box! And that’ll about do it!

Let’s go home before the bag tears (plus I’m out of breath from jogging) — I’ll keep this garbage in the garage until next garbage day! Our block sure looks a lot nicer after all this, and I bet our neighbours will be happy to have some of that trash out of their garden beds!

Thanks for coming out on an imaginary outdoor adventure with me today! That was a lot of fun. Feel free to go back to the top and pick another adventure!

Oh, you just read through them all in one go? That’s what I used to do with the old choose-your-own-adventure books. Then I’d wonder why they never made much sense.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Stay healthy!

This choose your own adventure has been brought to you by Andy Elliott.