Today, I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming about the beautiful sites in our nation that we've been privileged to experience first hand.
Remembering the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone; thinking about the sights and sounds of the beaches along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts; thinking about how I lost my breath when I first laid eyes on the Tetons; remembering lazy days spent on a crystal clear lake in Minnesota; reliving - in my mind - hours spent gazing out over the Grand Canyon, wading up the river into the Narrows at Zion National; watching Old Faithful blow her top -- steam pouring up into the clear blue Wyoming sky.
Thinking once again about the warmth of a crackling fireplace in a cabin set back in the trees above Glacier Creek just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park; about a special visit to the Great Smokey Mountains to celebrate a shared milestone; about family excursions to Ocean Isle Beach, Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Cape Disappointment, and Estes Park with Mom and Dad.
I'm thinking about the rock formations, hoodoos, and vibrant colors of places like Capital Reef, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Arches National Park in Utah. Remembering a day filled rushing -- far too quickly - through visits to Yosemite, Sequoia, and King's Canyon National Parks in the Sierra Nevada; remembering the buffalo herds, wild burros, and tall prairie grasses of Custer State Park, the amazing landscape of the Badlands, and that monument when the faces past presidents filled the windshield during a trip to South Dakota.
I remember driving with white knuckles over one of the most beautiful scenic byways I've ever seen -- the breathtaking Red Mountain Pass over the Rockies from Ouray to Durango.
And I'm thinking about places yet to be visited.
Places like Glacier National Park and the Missouri Breaks in Montana, Canyon de Chelly in the great Southwest, Acadia National Park in Maine, and the Big Bend region of south Texas. And there are others, too many and varied to mention here.
Oh well ... Someday.