Like a lot of mountain hikes, there is plenty of climbing to get to Alberta Falls, but once we got there, I was so glad that I convinced my family to take this one last hike. The waterfall is gorgeous and the climb to the top of the waterfall was scary but worth the view.
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.
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.