I love Nature. My sanity and spirituality are grounded in wandering through nature and appreciating what all it offers. In fact, I used to take Nature Treks every May. But when I moved into educational management in 2002 with a 12-month contract (rather than a 10-month contract as a teacher), the chances to get away dwindled. Then some health issues started surfacing in 2006 and my trips grew shorter and farther apart. Over the last few months, however, I have started getting back into my role as a Roadside Naturalist. First, I took an overnight trip to Yosemite and then another to Sequoia National Park, both in an effort to make sure my bad knees would not undermine my getting out in Nature.
Those short excursions went well. I am excited now to be heading out in the morning for a longer rejuvenating trek into Nature. I will be visiting some new places such as Canyonlands National Park, Pike’s Peak, and Starved River State Park as well as some favorites such as Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon. Along the way, I will stop and see friends in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, and New Mexico. I will be gone for 24 days and will be covering at least 4000 miles. This is going to be so much fun!
A few weeks ago I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the adventure. I am not fully certain my knees will hold up and let me explore everywhere I have planned, but I figure I won’t know what is possible unless I try. The packing took some strategizing as well. I needed to take enough “stuff” for almost a month, but packed in such a way that I can cart in to each hotel only what I need overnight. Good thing I like planning and details.
One night last week—as I enjoyed some Orange Chicken and Beijing Beef for dinner—I opened two fortune cookies. They confirmed for me that this trip will be a grand adventure:
You might be wondering why I am alerting my readers to this upcoming trip. I wanted to explain why I will not be posting very frequently. I know! I know! I do not post very regularly as it is, so what’s the difference? My usual tardiness just sort of happens. With this trip, I am expecting I will not get much posted until I am home. However, I will have internet access everywhere I stay, so maybe I will finish some drafts I have started or share some photos of my trip while I am gone. My more official sharing of the photos I take on this adventure will be posted after I am home.
As I head out on this adventure, please keep your fingers crossed for me. My goalis to find spring flowers, beautiful skies and clouds, and marvelous vistas on my journey as well as enjoy some long overdue visits with good friends. I doubt I will get to photograph the bear who has been raiding the bird seed at my friend’s in Colorado, but the scenery will be terrific regardless. I am just hoping I am not delayed by a late snowfall or an Illinois thunderstorm. But then, changes in weather often produce great photo opportunities.
While traveling, I am sure my mom and dad will come to mind. Dad would love to be taking pictures with me at the various national parks I will be visiting. Mom would love the flowers I am sure to find, such as tulips in Iowa. I am also hoping my aunt’s lilac bush cooperates with some blossoms when I am in Illinois.
When I am in Arizona, I will probably wander through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert as a tribute to my parents. The last time I visited those locations was with them. They were not hurt in the accident, but they totaled their car when they were in Arizona visiting friends. Rather than drive a rental or fly home—they felt those options were too expensive!—they called me to come pick them up. I was able to juggle my schedule, hop in my car, and do just that. But we played a bit on the way home! I am sure they will be there with me this time around as well!
Finally, I hope you have some plans for a vacation sometime this spring or summer as well. We all need to get away at some point to preserve our sanity! What are your vacation plans? If not heading off somewhere, what do you do to unwind and regain your sanity, balance, perspective?
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SOME QUOTES ABOUT VACATIONS!
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” Maya Angelo
“When all else fails, take a vacation.” Betty Williams
“There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.” Nora Roberts
“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!” Mehmet Murat Ildan
“I’m going on vacation. I’ll bring you back a souvenir suitcase. It’ll be full of love, but otherwise appear to be empty.” Jarod Kintz
“Every person needs a time out, away from stressful jobs, pressures from employers or clients, home responsibilities, etc. Everyone deserves to enjoy, visit unknown places, try other things, meet a lot of new friends, and feel at the top of the world. Life is full of fun, excitement, and adventure. Thus, vacation is an experience that’s worth remembering for a lifetime. It heals a weary mind and soul.” Alon Calinao Dy
“Her purchases just about busted her vacation budget, but what else is a vacation for, if not for overindulgence and mindless extravagance?” Candace Schuler
“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” Earl Wilson
“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” Robert Orben
“Vacation: Two weeks on the sunny sands – and the rest of the year on the financial rocks.” Sam Ewing
“You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a vacation….enjoy the simple things in life.” Catherine Pulsifer