This post is sponsored by REI but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Whenever I have the opportunity to get outdoors and do something fun I feel like I should pinch myself. When I have a chance to learn something new, meet new people and spend some time recharging in nature, it’s like I won the lottery!
Recently, I was invited by REI to try one of their guided outdoor classes and when I saw that they offered a Sunset Paddle Boarding Tour at Chatfield State Park, I did a little dance. I have been wanting to try Paddle Boarding for a long time and one of the benefits of living in Colorado is that even in a land-locked state, we have plenty of lakes and great weather to play on the water.
I was also in need of some “me” time, to recharge and rebalance, and what is a better way to do that than to be surrounded by water and mountains?
If you have been a reader of this blog for a little while, you already know that I am really big on spending time in nature no matter the season, and believe everyone can benefit from getting out more. It doesn’t matter where you live or how fit you are, a little sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for the body and soul! That is why I am super excited to be partnering with REI on this post, because besides being a customer and member, I LOVE the company’s goal to connect people with the outdoors whenever they live.
Sunset Paddle Boarding with REI
The Sunset Paddle Boarding Tour was amazing! In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with sunsets and water. Add in a small group (6 people), a fun and knowledgeable guide and a well-organized and run class and you got a great experience!
I was so impressed by how seamless everything was. The sign up process was easy, the communication prior to the class was clear and our guide, Bob, was fun and so helpful. He not only taught us how to paddle board in less than 20 mins, but he was prepared with energy bars, waterproof pouches for phones and other accessories that are not usually provided in the class. That is going above and beyond!
Because the group was small and fairly inexperienced with paddle boarding, there was no pressure or judgment and immediately everyone was joking about who would fall in the water first. I attended the event on my own and even though I am mostly an extrovert, I am always a little nervous about group activities when I don’t know anyone. I didn’t feel awkward in the least as we quickly bonded into our little community of paddle boarding newbies.
Once we got in the water, it took us less than 20 mins and all of us actually stood up on the boards and paddled away. What is even more incredible? No one fell off during the entire class! Well done Bob!
We paddled around this sheltered bay before making our way into a more open space where we could watch the sunset with the ducks and pelicans. I just sat on my board and enjoyed the moment!
After the sun set behind the mountains, we paddled into another sheltered canal and it was so calm and quiet, I was able to watch a muskrat eating outside its burrow from less than 4 feet away. I love how you can have these unexpected encounters with wildlife.
I can’t believe that Chatfield State Park is so close to where I live and yet most of the time I am always driving somewhere else to be outdoors. It just goes to show you that some of the best discoveries and adventures can be found close to home, no matter where that is.
If you are looking to get outdoors, do something fun, learn something new and meet new people, you should check out REI’s outdoor classes near you. I bet you will be surprise by what is available where you live. The next class I want to try is a Women’s Hike and Happy Hour! Doesn’t that just sound like fun?
Learn more about the REI experiences in your area here.
Here is my video of this incredible experience.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try outdoors?