What’s a micro-adventure?

Dan and I recently stumbled into an unplanned micro-adventure (a micro-adventure defined as short, cheap, local, and low-tech). We zipped up armored jackets, strapped on helmets, and rode Dan’s motorcycle into the mountains on a blue-sky autumn day.

The plan was to stop at Lava Lake Resort for ice cream. But the store was closed for the season.

No worries. We’d just cut over to Cultus Lake Resort for ice cream. Here, too, the store and restaurant were closed.

Plan “C” involved stopping at Twin Lakes Resort Café for dinner … because now we’re past ice cream. Yep. It was closed, as well.

Back on the motorcycle, Plan “D” took us to dinner in SunRiver. A 20-minute wait for a place at the table, but worth it.

After we ordered our meal, I couldn’t help but notice a group of eight women sharing a table tucked into a corner. Much laughter and several conversations were going on all at once. One of the diners wore a large smile in place of hair. A chemo patient, perhaps?

A little later, a young woman approached our table and introduced herself as Angelina. She asked our names, which we hesitantly provided. And then she asked if she could pray for us and was there anything specific we wanted prayer for. Our children and grandkids are always on our hearts, so she prayed a kind and loving prayer for them.

Afterward, I watched to see if she buttonholed other diners. But she returned to her place, which happened to be at the table of eight women. Had they given her an assignment, of sorts? Or had she simply said, I feel directed to pray for that couple over there, can you please let me out?

At any rate, her prayer was beautiful. And her bravery and tenacity—was that her micro-adventure?


I wondered what a rather large micro-adventure would be called. Macro-adventure? Marathon-adventure? Because Dan and I took a couple of grand adventures these past few months—on a road-trip to Alaska and back through Alberta and British Colombia. Exploring in and around Washington, D.C., mostly on foot. A ‘Rails to Trails’ e-bike ride following the Youghiogheny River from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland.

Between Pittsburgh and Cumberland with cycling friends, Al & Claudia

It was John Muir who said:

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.

John Muir

If God created nature to be beautiful and restorative, and if we can’t always take epic adventures, then a micro-adventure into the local area would still get us into outdoor places to play in and to pray in.

Our Plan “D” adventure a few weekends ago included 108 motorcycle miles, and a lovely, unexpected prayer from a stranger—a Friday date that didn’t turn out exactly how we pictured, but perhaps a little better.

Front porch escapades

And then there’s the front porch adventure. Because not everyone has the physical ability to go further. Most front porch or back deck furniture can accommodate pots of tea, stacks of books, and mind-stretching games. And while we’re sipping and reading, we can identify bird songs or marvel at the bloom of wild color, the quiver of leaves, the happy squeal of children.

There is an ancient psalm that reads like this:

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Psalm 96:11-12

What better way to hear this symphony, this choir than by getting outdoors—on front porches; low-tech, low-cost micro-adventures; or far-flung road trips into wild places.

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

Let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us.

C.S. Lewis

Whether we’re in the wilderness or in our front yard, maybe we can pay attention and worship God in the nature He created for our health and enjoyment and connection with Him while singing for joy along with the trees of the forest.


What if we risked delight?


Opening all the holiday gifts


  1. Susan

    I love the great blessing you are to each other. . .& compound that, significantly, on the joy & delight you bring to many! God is such an amazing life planner!!! Much love & hugs!!!

  2. Cyndy Huss

    I love the micro-adventures post! What a terrific reminder to enjoy the simple things we tend to take for granted!

    • I love how you said this, Cyndy: “What a terrific reminder to enjoy the simple things we tend to take for granted.”

      These days, I’m working on not taking things for granted.

  3. Katie Ogden

    Dear Marlys,
    I love to read about the adventures you and Dan have weather your in Alaska or Deschutes County. You bring everything come alive with your picturesque writing.
    God has gifted you my friend
    Love in Jesus
    Katie Ogden

  4. Ginni Kennedy

    Isn’t it amazing how the Lord rearranged Plans A, B, and C so you could get to Plan D and Angelina (angel) could pray just for you?

    • That’s what I thought, Ginni! Yes, it was amazing, and I’m learning to see things NOT as coincidental or accidental, but as divinely planned by God.

  5. Barbara Winterfeld

    What a beautiful offering today, Marlys. Now I fit into the back patio adventure and I do so enjoy sitting in my new rocker that my daughter, Jenny bought for me. I watch the ducks and geese float down the river that runs through (well, actually the canal) and I reflect on how God has so blessed me with family and friends and the many adventures we had over the years. Thank you!

  6. Barbara Winterfeld

    PS: I’m so excited about you finding one another and the life you are knitting into such a beautiful picture! Love you to you! Barbara

    • Beautifully said, Barbara: ” … the life you are knitting into such a beautiful picture.”

      Your use of the word “knitting” did not go unnoticed, my Monday-evening-knitting-friend! (before COVID).

  7. Nancy Darst

    Marlys, I love reading your stories about your adventures big and small, and am so happy that one of your micro adventures brought you and Dan to Salem recently. Thanks for stopping by!
    You’re right about needing beauty in our lives, whether far away or close by. We don’t often venture far away, but we do love a walk to “see the mountain” (there is a great view point of Mt. Hood on a clear day ) close by) is restorative. During lockdown, my favorite place to spend my lunch breaks was in my backyard, listening to the songbirds and lawns being mowed. (Of course, vacations also were spent in “Puerta Backyarda” 😅.) I’m so happy you and Dan found each other. Keep sharing those adventures!

    • Nancy, I enjoyed meeting you and Don after hearing so much about you!

      I love your “Puerto Backyarda” sanctuary! The perfect place not far from a mountain view and within sounds of nature.

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