How To Free Your Mind In National Parks
It’s hard to focus on your pressing obligations when you are surrounded by majestic views and the sounds of nature.
Water flowing freely off mountaintops and rustling leaves help free the mind of to-do lists.
You can rediscover yourself within a national park.
As a child, my parents would pack us into a van and we would pull a pop-up camper through 10 states in 10 days. We found ourselves at:
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- Saguaro National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Death Valley National Park
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Redwood National Park
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
- Rocky Mountain National Park
My love for our National Park System was instilled in me early on, yet it had been years since I had been back.
Visiting Grand Teton and Yellowstone last month, I was once again brought back to those memories. The parks have a way of eliciting those dormant memories. Not that I was trying to forget, only that time had pushed them back.
Having spent most of my childhood in Ouachita National Forest with my cousins, the smell of Grand Teton National Park alone brought back a flood of memories. The pine trees and animals running wild reminded me of days past. I remembered walking through the forest in bright colors while singing loudly so that both hunters and animals alike would know we were near.
As we hiked the trails and learned about huckleberry and other berry plants, I found myself back in my grandmother’s kitchen. We would walk back and forth along the two-mile driveway collecting blackberries for jams and pies. Although we ate a great deal walking back to the cabin, there was always plenty to preserve.
Grizzly bears are known to be foraging the Tetons. Each morning as I emerged from our cabin at Togwotee Mountain Lodge, I was careful to survey the land. One Memorial Day at my grandparents’ cabin, I was climbing out of the camper I had spent the night in when my aunt told me to walk slowly. A mama bear had joined us overnight and was now intently watching me. At 10 years old, the reality of panic set in and I ran as fast as I could. Of course, the bear saw it fit to take chase. Fortunately it was a short distance to the front door… and I have not encountered another bear since.
Whatever your past or present may include, a quiet moment in a national park can help you rediscover those moments of peace.
High atop a lookout with the sounds of nature surrounding your thoughts, find yourself.
Get lost in the landscape and listen to the things your heart and body tell you.
Take it all in. Breathe in the fresh air. Relax and enjoy that moment.
Find your passions, reclaim your youth, plan a new future. Let the serene surroundings take you away to a much-needed escape. Hiking at Yellowstone or biking through Grand Teton National Park can be as enchanting as your mind allows. Set your mind free with a national park.
Get to know more about Staci Salazar by clicking here.