I spent the summers of my childhood in Island Park. Though it’s not really an Island nor a park, it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I spent many hours on a boat fishing with my dad, visiting with my grandparents in their cabins, and picking wild strawberries. I have so many memories of playing games while it rained, creating things with rocks and dirt, and telling fish tales. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to share many of these same experiences with my children. Life just seems to beat to the tune of a different drum when you’re out camping, hiking, and fishing. One of my absolute favorite things about “getting away from it all” is that time goes slower and the stresses of life seem to slip away. There’s nothing quite like roasting marshmallows around a campfire with those you love under a star-filled sky surrounded by the sounds of the great outdoors. The air smells sweeter and the stars seem brighter. Noone needs screens to be entertained by and conversations last longer without the interruptions of responsibilities at home. I love listening to the crackle of the fire and throwing on another log because you’re not quite ready for the night to end. We can hike to the top of a hill to see the sunrise, catch a few fish, and play a few rounds of cards all before lunch.
In the hustle and bustle of life and all the talk of how quickly our kids grow, give you and your kids a gift of time and experiences. We live in a beautiful part of the country and there are so many wonderful places to explore and enjoy. Disneyland is great but so is playing at String Lake and riding to the top of Sawtelle where you feel like you are on top of the world. Catching a salmon at Ririe Reservoir, floating down Big Springs, kayaking on Redfish Lake, and riding ATV’s around Heise or Spencer have made for some great memories.
I’m grateful that I got to grow up spending so much time camping and enjoying the great outdoors. It’s been so fun to watch the creativity and experiences my kids have had when we’re out in the middle of nature. Taking a nap on a four-wheeler ride and seeing a deer, pretending to go for a ride on a tree because it’s shaped like a dinosaur, seeing the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, finding treasures in geocaches, picking wildflowers, or seeing an eagles nest as we rode down a river are all moments they will remember for their lifetime. I know it can be a lot of work to pack up and plan these trips. I know sleeping on the ground doesn’t always seem like the best way to spend your time but I know that life is what we put into it. Hiking might not be your thing and fishing might gross you out but there are so many ways to connect with nature and your family that I’m sure you can find at least one outdoor adventure you’ll enjoy together. In these crazy, chaotic times, we all deserve and need to take time to relax. It’s a pretty great way to social distance too!
You can camp in a tent, reserve a cabin or yurt, or rent an RV. Go boating, hiking, floating, biking, fishing, or just explore. There are so many ways to enjoy all the hills, mountains, lakes, and forests we are surrounded with, just make sure you take your kids and watch time slow down.