Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mountains! And trees! And scenery!

I'm so not kidding about the snow.  Or the 1,000,000 buffalo.
Taken in Yellowstone, June 2011.

So, husband and I love to travel.  Every kind of traveling - domestic, international, cities, wilderness, beaches, mountains, cruises, camping... 

In 2010, we discovered The Roap Trip.  I don't mean rolling a couple hours down the road to the next big city, but full-out, 2-3 week, 6000 mile, live-out-of-the-car road trips.  We spent most of the month of August that year seeing places neither of us had seen before. 

The grand total:

-14 states
-6500 miles
-8 National Parks
-1,000,000 buffalo
-1 torrential, monsoon-like downpour in Navajo country
-1 homage to Laura Ingalls Wilder
-8 nights in a tent
-15 Subway sandwich stops
-1 incident of overheated brakes
-14,000+ feet above sealevel
-(result: 1 bout of altitude sickness)
-1 lost hubcap in the Middle of Nowhere, Kansas (speaking of hubcaps, did you how freaking expensive those things are!?)

It was amazing.  As a writer, I know there have to be better words to describe it, but "amazing" is the word I always come back to. 

In fact, it was so amazing that we went back to Grand Teton and Yellowstone in June of 2011 (when I was 6 months pregnant).  (And there was snow.  And we slept in a tent.  Did I mention the snow?  LOTS of snow.  In June.  And I was pregnant.  So I had to pee a lot at night.  That part wasn't fun.  But the rest was amazing.) 

There is a point to this post, I swear.  As a result of all this road-tripping, I remembered how much I love wild places.  My favorite escape from the mundane is pulling up the National Park Service webcams.  From my computer, in between filling in spreadsheets and checking my email, I can watch the seasons change in Rocky Mountain NP, or the sun rise over the Grand Canyon, or Old Faithful erupt at Yellowstone.  I pull up the cameras at Glacier and Yosemite and daydream about a future road trip. 

There's just something so freeing about knowing that I could get in my car and be at one of these incredible places.  Just head west on I-70, and surround myself with peace and beauty and wonder. 

(And, yes, I'm fairly certain I read Laura Ingalls Wilder a few too many times as a child. I'm just thankful cars are faster than covered wagons!)

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