I’ve always been intrigued by lists. In high school I read Getting Even by Woody Allen and was overcome by hysterics reading “The Metterling Lists.” But that intrigue inched toward the weird as I got older. I started to collect my parents’ chicken-scratch lists of Saturday chores, and as an adult I often squirreled away my own no longer-useful Post-its replete with ridiculously banal to-do lists. Even now I often reach into a pocket and pull out an embarrassingly large number of out-dated shopping lists.
Mostly I am good at having kicked the list-keeping habit. But I know my tendencies and as a result I shy away from lists, including bucket lists.
But three years into running my bnb and I’ve softened my stand. At minimum, committing to a bucket list gets the little gears in your mind working, thinking of goals and dreams, of wishes and desires. At best, a bucket list gets you physically moving toward distant places and experiences that result in a break from the norm. And they often tap the knowledge base of others, which gets you talking to people you might otherwise ignore. Think adventure, the new and unknown, crowd-sourced information and collaboration, accomplishment, and ideally, joy.
Rare is the guest who is just “passing through” Hiouchi and the National Park. Most who make it to my bnb on the Smith are in fact living out their own bucket-list line-up. (I admit it, in a way, bucket lists are good for business.)
So now, bucket lists draw me in; I see them in a different light. For good reason, my take on the bucket list these days is far less critical.
We don’t often get the chance to take deliberate steps in life. Instead, the steady hum of responsibility and obligation take hold and the next thing you know you’re turning 40 (or 60), or having your second kid, or retiring, or recuperating. Life doesn’t exactly get lighter with the years. Listen to John Lennon: Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. Bucket lists are plans in and of themselves. They give the mundane serious competition. They are revenge for the inescapable cliff that lurks up ahead.
I don’t fight now, when, over wine or coffee on the deck or in the kitchen, guests start yakking away. Now I want to know, what’s on your list and what would you recommend I put on mine?
My biggest score to date? A custom-created list of ultimate hikes and walks that bnb~hiouchi guest Dave drew up for me. I consider it the beginning of my own bucket list because as much as I love the Boy Scout Tree Trail and the various blue highways of Del Norte County, it’s probably time to think bigger.
On to the photos…here are some recent guests and some of their own reasons for visiting the redwoods, the national park, and bnb~hiouchi.