More “Subscriptions”

I got to thinking of a few of the other subscription type services we have had over the years.

America the Beautiful. National Park Service pass. $80/yr.
We live near an incredible national park, Rocky Mountain, and try to get up there every month or two. The America the Beautiful pass gives you access to all National Parks. James Bryce said that the National Parks are the best idea America ever had and I have to agree. $6.67/mo to have access to all of them is an incredible deal.

Boulder Openspace and Mountain Parks (OSMP) parking permit. $25/yr.
We live close enough to several City of Boulder OSMP spaces that I take really good advantage of this permit. I just went hiking twice in the past week at two different OSMP spots: Mt. Sanitas and Shadow Canyon. As I was coming down from Mt. Sanitas I saw two separate Golden Eagles flying overhead. Several times I thought to myself how Boulder hiking doesn’t deserve to be SO GOOD. Making a list of additional hiking spots to check out in the next year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Pass. Was $80/yr, now $29/yr.
The CPW pass is now included as an optional but default fee on all Colorado vehicle registrations, which resulted in a massive price cut. There are several wonderful state parks within 45 minutes of my house, and many more within just a few hours. A couple years ago I took the rooftop tent to Steamboat Lake State Park and it was magical. Looking forward to getting out and enjoying more state parks.

Are you noticing a theme with these? Haha.

Denver Botanic Gardens. $70/yr.
This is something my wife got several years in a row and would bring me along for free as her plus one. 🙂 The gardens are a lovely place to visit in the middle of the week, get a book or take your laptop and get some work done. Especially wonderful in the spring!

Altogether, these “subscriptions” would cost us $233/yr or $19.42/month. We rarely always have each subscription “active” — we may sometimes let one or another lapse as we find ourselves in a season where we can’t do all of the things all at once. This just goes to show how much value these relatively low cost “subscriptions” provide. I can pay Boulder $25/yr and get several dozen hours of enjoyment exploring and hiking and mountain biking all the trails.

While I like Netflix, and Apple TV+, and all the other digital subscriptions I’ve tried — $20/mo doesn’t prove anywhere near as much value in TV as it does in all the outdoor activities afforded above.

That said, it is snowing out as I write this, and as soon as I hit publish, I’ll probably go watch some TV instead of going hiking. So it’s not valueless, I just think these outdoor experiences are way more fulfilling.