I’ve got holiday gift lists on the brain, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. I’ll be sharing a few gift ideas for backyard nature fun later this week, but I wanted to start with something very near-and-dear to my heart: The gift of a nature experience.
To know me is to know I’m all about sharing experiences. Moments. In fact, I make a point of planning regular nature dates with each of The Explorers to focus on moments rather than things. It’s one way we connect not only with each other, but with the world around us, too.
If you’re anything like me – and I’m guessing you just might be – you think giving an experience instead of a gift makes sense this time of year. If you’re wondering how to get started, let me introduce you to Cloud 9 Living.
About Cloud 9 Living
Cloud 9 Living offers more than 1,800 experience gifts in the United States in 43 different regions of the country. You choose from one of the many experiences they have available, and Cloud 9 Living will make it happen for your special someone.
Of course, I’m most interested in their nature experiences, of which there are quite a few in Los Angeles alone – like a zipline canopy tour, hot air balloon rides, surfing lessons and several guided hikes. But there are plenty of other types of experiences to choose from, too.
Touring the San Andreas Fault
The wonderful folks at Cloud 9 Living were nice enough to offer me the chance to give one of their experiences a go. I opted for a jeep tour of the San Andreas Fault. Yeah, I know you’re jealous. It’s okay.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my 5-hour tour was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When else am I going to explore an earthquake fault accessible only with a rugged 4×4 vehicle?
The outfitter Cloud 9 hooked me up with features small groups of 1 to 5 people per Jeep max – and a custom outing catered to our individual interests. My particular group of four wanted a mix of hiking and off-roading, so that’s exactly what we got.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about flora and fauna, but sprinkled in all that information with interesting stories and a fun personality. Since I’ve never been off-roading or visited the desert, I was suitably impressed.
I’m not going to give away too many specifics about the tour in case you want to try it yourself, but I can assure you that the canyon walls are amazing, the geology fascinating and the native desert plant and animal life abundant. If you live in Southern California, you must add this adventure to your bucket list.
Note: I received a complimentary Cloud 9 Experience in exchange for providing my honest review with you. Read my full disclosure policy for more information.