In the Fall of 1990, Hunter Morgan and Scott Murphy threw a couple of pieces of rough cut wood up on a concrete block wall in the corner of a local bicycle shop to carve out some space for their new idea – Naturally Outdoors. Both had just turned twenty-two. With more enthusiasm and energy than experience, the two set out on the adventure of starting and building a business.
The new store, small and simple, was not yet a year old before Hunter decided that it was important to take people on guided wilderness trips.
Those trips initiated early on continued year after year. It has now been twenty-five years and we have taken hundreds of people from our community on dozens and dozens of trips – local day trips, weekend adventures, and week-long Western trips. We believe that the soul has a need to breath fresh air and to see big mountains. Natural places have a way of surprising us with beauty and wonder. In some ways this is the part of our business that we believe in the most. We love it! We never plan to stop.
In February 2005, we moved our business from its original location and relocated to our current space. The building we renovated was in the same neighborhood, sat on several acres of open land, and bordered Jeffries Creek and the City of Florence Rail Trail. It was the perfect location for us – in town but with quick access to green space. This location would shape us in ways we could not have anticipated.
In 2014, with a growing awareness of the need for green space in an urban context, we started a local non-profit fund, Parkworks, to share with our community what we were learning – namely that green space in an urban context and access to everyday adventure is important.
Therefore, added to our desire to help people enjoy a backcountry wilderness experience, we also desire to help people enjoy and experience green space locally, on a daily basis. Parkworks was created for this purpose – to help the City of Florence become a more Walk/Bike friendly community.
We believe in walking. We believe that walking on a sidewalk can be as beautiful as walking on a trail – different yes! – but equally as delightful. We believe that the bicycle is a wonderful invention that for too long has been marginalized. However, the bicycle is now experiencing a renaissance of sorts when it comes to health and wellness, alternative transportation, and pure fun.
This is our mission: to encourage people to get outside, in big ways and small ways, for both extended times and short periods of time.
Our first twenty-five years were quite an adventure, and we have high expectations that the next twenty-five will not disappoint. Will you join us? Adventures shared are the best!