The hike into the mountains and past three beautifully unique lakes was a reminder of the awesomeness of creation and a peaceful respite from the outside world. We may have returned home exhausted and ready to crash, but it was worth it for the time together without outside distractions.
I am an admitted National Parks junkie, but the beautiful nature that blankets America’s landscape has multiple caretakers. The Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak are excellent examples of how nature can be preserved when local communities decide that it is a priority. Over a 24 hour period, our family got to be the beneficiaries of that prioritization, making this vacation stop an adventure that our kids will not soon forget.
And the same is true with every place we visit. There is a lot to hike, ride, and see in Palo Duro Canyon, but there was no way we were going to be able to do even a fraction of it.
There are a lot of reasons to be glad that we prefer camping over any other type of vacation, but this year it seems we really do have the best idea. After all, we don't have to worry about air travel, we have a bathroom traveling with us for emergencies, we can take all of our food with us so we don't have to depend on reliably hygienic food service, and we are traveling to relatively remote locations (with a few exceptions).
Despite the late arrival, despite the heat, despite the rain, we had some much needed outdoor therapy and unplugged time as a family. COVID-19 has affected all of us in different ways and for our family there was this strong need to just do something and go somewhere. While we wait for our summer vacation plans (which still look promising), this gave us the brief respite that we needed.