Learning to enjoy the ride.
The last time you heard from me, I had just completed a week venturing through some of our country’s most awe-inspiring national parks. And if you couldn’t tell, I was on cloud nine for doing so. I loved the natural beauty of the parks, but more so, the feeling I had being part of something so much bigger than me. It really changed my perspective on a lot of things, and was just what I needed at the time.
Fast forward to now, and I once again visited several national parks in the course of a week. Except this time around, the weather wasn’t exactly on my side. What I couldn’t see through my rose-colored glasses was that early March in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming is still very much winter. It’s downright frigid, and blanketed in snow and ice. And with that, the three national parks I visited didn’t give me much in terms of access. C’est la vie.
So what did I do instead? I enjoyed the ride. Even though I couldn’t get out and explore much of Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, I had over 20 hours of gorgeous drives from Seattle to Denver that in many ways were just as beautiful as being in the parks. And while I’m not recommending skipping the parks entirely just to drive by them, I am recommending appreciating what you have instead of being hung up on what could have been.
See, the beauty of getting out into nature (even if it’s in the driver seat of your car) is that you get to make the experience whatever you want it to be. And if I’d have been sulking about not being able to hike through the parks, I’d have missed all the cool stuff I saw and appreciated along the way: bald eagles soaring, beavers scampering across a frozen lake, sunrises illuminating the sky, and raging rapids flowing only a few hundred meters from the road.
The moral of the story?
Whether this summer takes you out west or somewhere more local, I hope you find the beauty of “here” and not think about anywhere else. Because regardless of whether you’re in Yosemite or Hocking Hills, there’s beauty all around you waiting to be discovered.