Summer Adventures Past and Present

Sun Lakes, Washington, circa 1968, July 12th.  I am holding my birthday cake—and the picture is with my siblings. I was 11. My memory decades later is that the wind was so fierce I thought the candles would blow off the cake. Even today, as I look at the picture there are NO lit candles!  (smiling) The family vacation that year took us on to Yellowstone.  The National Park is such a unique place on earth and holds amazing memories for me; we stayed at the historical Old Faithful Inn and, of course, saw Old Faithful (Geyser) in action. In addition to the unpleasant sulfur smells coming from the hot spots which have made Yellowstone National Park so famous, we witnessed a woman positioning herself in a picture with a Mother bear and her two cubs.  Are you kidding? We saw moose strolling across the road and standing in the rivers, heard wolves or coyotes in the far distance and watched endearing critters in all forms; squirrels, crows, raccoons.

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Sun Lakes, Wa- Happy 11th Birthday!

There were other camping memories I hold including catching fish in the Big Wood River in Idaho, getting stopped in a road search for an escaped felon near Billings Montana, when we visited the Grand Tetons, and getting to stay at the “Let ‘er Buck Motel one night in Pendleton, Oregon when my Dad was just too tired to drive the five plus hours home, are my distant past adventures.   The world is full of wonderful things and it gives our lives an expanded meaning, discovery and wonder of who we are when we explore beyond our familiar “village”.

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Yellowstone National Park

Decades later, circa 1996, Nacogdoches, Texas, I would take to the highways once again with my boys on adventures of our own.  I still remember today that Stalactites hold tight on the ceiling and stalagmites might reach the ceiling, learned on a stop in Carlsbad Caverns while heading west.  The Grand Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway were other places of wonder. We would see Sea Lions, roast hotdogs on the beach, explore the waterfront of San Francisco, ride a cable car and enjoy a harbor tour around Alcatraz Island.  We visited Wyoming, staying in Jackson Hole, Telluride, Ouray, Durango, Silver City, in Colorado, and “happen” upon the small historic Tea Pot Dome Service Station in Zillah, Washington built in 1922. I had seen it growing up and it was such a delight surprise that I came upon it along Hwy 82 on one of those road-trip summers. Mark Twain once penned, and I would add with great wisdom, “Travel is fatal to narrow-mindedness, prejudice and bigotry.”

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Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, circa today. As the 2017 summer begins, another adventure awaits me, and looks completely different than the others.  This time, it is to retrieve my old 1970 MG.  It was my first car and one I bought in college—and has been sitting in Texas which had been my home for many years.  A friend of mine is picking me up at Sea-Tac and we are heading down I-5 into California and then ultimately east towards Texas.  Our plan is to see parts of Arizona and explore New Mexico—a place he has never been; and ironically one of my favorite states.  What lies beyond these words as my journey unfolds, as I step out of the airport, I cannot say.  However, I embrace the words of physician, philosopher and poet Debasish Mridha, “Life is a magical journey, so travel endlessly to unfold its profound and heart touching beauty.”  Inspirational writer Lailah Gifty Akita notes, “Adventure begins with a thought, decision and action.”

And now I ask, “What is your heart’s desire?”  Where does your wanderlust pull you?  Is there a place you have read about or have seen in pictures that you want to visit? If you don’t do it today, then when?

Enjoy your summer adventures—whether it is a trip to your local state park, searching for Lighthouses, an ocean picnic to a different coast or drive across the state, just because.  Pick something that sounds fun and make it so!

“The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.” — J.K. Rowling

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