Bad Lands – Bonding

It was on my bucket list – along with almost every NPS in the lower 48. Okay, maybe AK and HI too but not sure the FJ would get to those places. A great place to visit, hike, and experience – but I wish I was there when the lodges were open. That would have made the experience that much better.

I have shown pics and talked about the trip – and never, never could I do it justice. It is a ‘go back with my wife’ destination. Come on, we’ve all got places we want to share with those with whom we are close.

As great as the “place” is – one of the most powerful memories was not about the location but about one of the few people whose path crossed with mine. Early in, at the first parking lot past the gate, I got out of the FJ to a completely empty lot. completely empty. All day, I only crossed four people on the trails. The first two showed up shortly after I arrived. And they showed top in a U-Haul van, full up as I could see. A man and young boy, say 12, got out and immediately began to experience the snowy landscape. The youngster ran up the hills, pouncing through the snow. At one point, the dad(?) was taking his picture with the Window and Nook trails in the background. I offered to take their pic together – but they politely said it was not necessary.

Then I saw something. The young boy was holding a frame. It was a picture of the young lad’s mother, whom he had just lost. The older gent had just gotten guardianship of the young person, and they were on a road trip together – heading from Montana to Missouri. They were spending time together – bonding – and honoring the mother.

Honoring his mother.

A little over a year ago, I lost my last parent. My mom. She was such blessing. And in a certain way, I was honoring my mom that day as well. My mother was always the better money manager. And from her estate, I got enough to get the FJ that was my mighty stead on this journey.

I can not imagine what this young lad was experiencing. I can not imagine losing a parent and having to relocate at such hard time. Was the man his father? A guardian? Was he even a relative?

In this world, we are not promised that our friends and fam will always be around. let them know you appreciate them before you no longer can let them know. Treasure the moments. And make memories.

A few years ago, I was recording an interview of an elderly church member (who is now no longer with us) and I asked what advice she would give young people today – especially young families. Her words … make memories.

So I take road trips. Yes, I am often alone. But not always. I want memories. Moments of merriment. Seasons of sadness. Brief yet breathtaking awe. Unbridled laughter. Times of tenderness.

Make memories.

What memories are you making?





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: