By Jennifer Hoffman, Editorial DIrector
So I don’t have time to take multi-week excursions to far-off lands. So I don’t have the extra money to pay for airfare, hotels and decadent, delectable foreign cuisine. Does that mean my adventurer’s spirit is out of luck? Heck, no!
Believe it or not, the Chico area has some adventures hidden in its midst. Small as they may be compared to backpacking across Europe, they help to subdue my traveler’s itch whenever it starts to act up.
Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, My!
A little past Butte College on Durham-Pentz Road is the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary. How this wonderful place escaped my attention for so long, I don’t know.
|A liger at the Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary.
Until I came here, I thought a liger was just a creation out of “Napoleon Dynamite.” But, no – it’s real, and it has a lion for a father and a tiger for a mother. That’s some family tree.
Among the many other animals at the sanctuary, just to mention a few, are an entertaining ring-tailed lemur, a wallaby, a couple of fuzzy black bears, several ferocious-looking leopards who appeared to want to hunt me as I walked by their enclosures and two adorable and cuddly fennec foxes named Mulder and Scully.
|Mulder and Scully, two fennec foxes.|
The Kirshner Sanctuary only charges $7 per adult to visit, which is a small amount to pay to see all the beautiful rescued and endangered animals it has given good homes to.
Take a Hike.
Every time I hike through Upper Bidwell Park, it takes my breath away. Yes, it’s great exercise and it always leaves me huffing and puffing, but the views and landscapes are amazing as well. Best of all, it’s free!
There are a multitude of different trails, enough so that I am never left wanting for a mysterious and winding pathway to travel. And what my quest will have waiting for me at the end, I can never guess. A cliff-side seat with a scene of the canyon and creek below is my favorite.
Whatever it may be, my journey is always rewarded.
Try a Mental Adventure.
Who says a mind adventure isn’t as good as a physical one? Books are one of my favorite ways to escape the doldrums that can sometimes pop up during day-to-day life. During my last visit to downtown Chico’s used bookstore, aptly named The Bookstore, I was able to get four mental adventures for only $13.
Although I never managed to make it past the “A” section, I now have several Jane Austen escapades waiting to take me to 1800s’ England. No amount of airfare could ever take me there.
Seek, and Ye Shall Find.
One day, I’ll have my big adventures that will take me to distant places to see great things. Until then, I have found that there is plenty to discover all around me. A little observation of my surroundings has turned up all sorts of mini-adventures that quell my adventurer’s appetite and are kind to my bank account as well.
Next up on my adventure list: the Abbey of New Clairvaux and the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center, also known as the “Tree Farm.”