Gloriously Green

Today’s slice is brought to you by the letter G and the number 4.

Every summer we take a family vacation.  Every other year we head east. We have seen Acadia National Park (Maine), Niagara Falls (New York), White Mountain National Forest (New Hampshire), Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina) just to name a few.  The other years we head west.  We have seen Glacier National Park (Montana), Olympia National Park (Washington), Redwoods (California), Crater Lake (Oregon), and others.  We don’t visit cities very often, preferring instead to wide-open spaces and quiet family time.

Last summer was no exception.  We headed west to visit some friends in Colorado and then camp in Yellowstone National Park.  We had honeymooned in Yellowstone 10 years ago, almost to the day, and knew at the time that it would be an awesome place to take our kids. We saw the paint pots, the geysers, and hiked. One hike took us up to the top of Elephant Back Mountain. We took a picture up there with Yellowstone Lake behind us and our whole lives spread out in front of us. I wanted to recapture that picture.

The trailhead is somewhat hard to find, since it is just off the main road and after a brief hike, however, armed with our maps, we found it. It starts in the forest, the gloriously green, everything is bright because it just rained forest. Pine trees abound, grass and moss everywhere, bright sunshine warms us, as we begin walking along this rough dirt path. We travel along watching for wildlife, admiring the world, enjoying the quiet, taking the trail gradually up, up, up. Meandering through the forest, just soothing our souls and recharging our batteries.

After a while we reach a switchback trail. Switchback trails are wonderful routes, giving you the opportunity to see where you are going, and where you have been. You can look down and out at the forest floor below and see all the beauty that surrounds you, or you can look up, knowing you draw closer to the perfect view. Up, up, up we go. Becca and Jack have made it a game–run ahead of mom and dad, wait at the next turn, oohing and aahing at the nature that surrounds them. We forge ahead, back and forth, always climbing up. At last we reach the summit, but we have not arrived yet. Still we walk, surrounded by the gloriously green wonderland enveloping us. We take the bend in the trail and ahead we see Yellowstone Lake laid out before us, it’s waters reflecting the world around it. We sit on benches and just watch. We watch the green tree limbs blow in the breeze, and wildflowers soak up the sun. We hear the rustling of chipmunks running along the forest floor. Everything is bright, everything is colorful. Everything is growing and gloriously green. We ask a passing hiker to take our picture with Yellowstone lake behind us and our lives spread out in front of us. Our family has grown and here, in this place, we find peace.

As we hike back, down, down, down the switchback trail, we continue to enjoy the gloriously green setting around us, only now it is punctuated by what our life has become–kids laughing, Jack watching for storm troopers and “shooting” them, Becca holding our hands. Our quiet is broken by us and that is just fine by me, while walking through the gloriously green wonderland.

Today’s slice is brought to you by the letter G and the number 4.

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8 thoughts on “Gloriously Green

  1. A lovely documentation of a glorious green day. I grew up near Glacier Park and, while you were describing Yellowstone, I was climbing the switchback trails of Glacier with your words. Thanks for the trip home.

  2. I really enjoyed your entry about traveling to Yellowstone. I get the letter G–I think for green, but I don’t get the number 4–not that I need to. I love the look of your blog and am glad I stopped by.

  3. you are on a wonderful roll with these slices! I am a huge hiker and loved the imagery, loved how you crafted the setting–the before Yellowstone on your honeymoon, and the after with your kids, 10 years later–and really thought the whole slice was just simple and sweet, and very well written. thank you for the little trip you just gave me!

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