Looking for Small Victories, Crushed by Small Defeats

When you’re on a constant quest for small victories, small defeats can be crushing. And maybe that’s just what I was feeling. After all, some studies have shown that we need up to five positive experiences to outweigh a single bad experience. While that isn’t the case for every negative experience, the reality that many of us are dealing with is that we are just dealing with a lot.

An Overnight Stop at Martin Creek Lake State Park

Martin Creek Lake is the perfect example of the pleasant surprises that wait for us when we make visiting state parks over private campgrounds a priority. While it may be easier to look for one of many parking spots along the highway or interstate, the state parks that are often just a little bit off our planned routes can give our families affordable escapes from the busy world and force us to commune with nature, even if it is only for an 18-hour stay.

Visiting the Past at Fort Richardson

It was our halfway point on the way to Palo Duro Canyon. Established in 1867, Fort Richardson was a major outpost in the complicated history of the relationship between Plains indigenous tribes and the U.S. Calvary. The fort was in full use for 11 years, serving as base camp for many of the conflicts between the U.S. government and native tribes who refused to be forced into giving up their land or lifestyle. Today, visitors can see several of the outbuildings in addition to hiking or biking the many trails throughout the state park, including the nine-mile Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway.

Campsgiving In the Time of Corona

After a year of anxiety and constantly shifting “norms,” our Campsgiving trip was probably one of the most “normal” things we did in 2020. We didn’t have to change our Thanksgiving traditions because our traditions took us where we were safest, especially if we kept our masks handy whenever we were going to be meeting people. And while there was still anxiety about meeting up with family, the small size of our group and the consistent outdoor activity made for as safe of a gathering as we could have hoped.