Rocky Mountain National Park

I remember the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains, rising up dramatically in the west as I approached from the plains in the back seat of my Aunt Pam’s old sedan. I was only 18 years old at the time, and while I had seen the Appalachian Range, and part of the Ozarks, these grand mountains were something else entirely; majestic, aspirational, and far … Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park

Reflections on my 4 Month Road Trip

  “You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you within yourself.”  Ella Maillart Dear Readers, This quote landed in my inbox this morning, and boy is it ever true! First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been traveling along with me through my blog, which I started not only because … Continue reading Reflections on my 4 Month Road Trip

Badlands National Park

I arrived in the Badlands expecting a harsh landscape. It was the Badlands after all, and that name conjured up images of movie star cowboys heading into rock canyons with no water or food to hide out from lesser known movie star cowboys (you know, the kind who specialized in evil dastardly deeds.) I even whistled the classic “do-wee-oo-wee-oo” sound to myself as I reached … Continue reading Badlands National Park

Our National Park Service Employees: True American Superheros

For today’s post, I want to pause and acknowledge my deep admiration for all of the National Park Service employees who helped to make my four month trip so special. Whenever I visited one of our parks or monuments or battlefields, the information desk at the Visitor’s Center was always my first stop. I quickly learned that the three key things to let them know … Continue reading Our National Park Service Employees: True American Superheros

South Dakota Air & Space Museum

The most important advice I have for anyone traveling anywhere can be boiled down to two words:  be flexible.  It sounds simple, but for a person who leans towards control freak tendencies (that would be me), it can often be a challenge.  It means that I have to let go of the mental pull towards detailed itineraries and goal directed behavior and instead listen to … Continue reading South Dakota Air & Space Museum

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

I am old enough to be part of a generation that attended school during the Cold War, when children regularly participated in nuclear bomb preparedness drills and watched mandatory movies on how to survive a nuclear winter. My college aged children are far enough removed from that experience to find it amusing now, but as a child, it was terrifying to listen to the droning voice-over … Continue reading Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

Crazy Horse Monument

I think it’s fair to say that this project would not have started were it not for Mount Rushmore.  If you are a member of the Sioux Nation, watching Rushmore construction on land that has been unlawfully taken from you (the Supreme Court of the U.S. confirmed this already, so that’s not a debatable point), and also watching the emergence in stone of faces that … Continue reading Crazy Horse Monument