National Parks and Why you NEED an Annual Pass

Initially our trip was just going to be us spending a week at Yellowstone. I don’t really know what happened, maybe I mentioned that I had always wanted to go to Utah, or others kept making suggestions. Regardless, our trip began to grow. More states, more parks, more days. It morphed into a two week Grand Adventure (#1).

Somewhere, sometime, I had heard about a National Parks Pass. It is ONLY $80 (this is dope because a state pass, just for parks in Indiana is $50). Just to get into a national park, can cost you $20, if not more. And this pass is good for an entire year (hence why we are in the works for planning a Grand Adventure with my sister-in-law Mary with a larger loop and 10 more national parks). I cannot describe my level of giddiness when our pass came. I pretty much was ready for us to sign it and put it in the window right away!!!

Nature is my spot. Growing up, we lived in the country. My parents, notably my father, were big on being outdoors. As I grew, the more I came to appreciate my times outdoors. After college, when I simplified my life (got rid of a bunch of stuff, moved into a shed, set out on adventures, the usual), I set to living my life. My instant gravitation led me to the woods. Anytime I had a day off I took off to a state or local park or camping. I ached to be on a trail. On a whim I took off to Yosemite by myself. I yearned to be outside. The woods, to me, cuts out and filters the bullshit of everyday life. It is easy to get lost in the busy of everyday life. To get sucked into worries or stressed. We are constantly connected and contantly bombarbed with a stream of other people telling us how to live. Going to the woods, helps me reconnect with myself. With life. I get back to what is important. To my values. To god. That is my time for clarity. For maximum gratitude. For mindfulness and awareness. It is like hitting a reset button, back to my best self. I NEED outdoor time.

Continue reading “National Parks and Why you NEED an Annual Pass”

Hit a Hammock: the Benefits to Hanging Out

Once upon a time I slept and lived in a shed. For a moment, I also slept in a hammock for months.

Fast forward to June. My rad, amazing mother brought me a portable hammock. I traveled with it in my pack for MONTHS. It’s going to rain. I’s too hot. There are bugs. For months I found some bullshit excuse not to hang it up.

Finally last week I was determined. Dead set on hanging out for the day. I had a journal. I had a book. I was ready to rock and roll.

Now I will out myself and say I had a twinge of that fear of thinking of what others were thinking about me. I silenced it quickly and hung it up anyways. And I will rat myself out again, saying I was hesitant to climb in. I was initially waiting for the fall. Waiting to look like a jack ass, as I so gracefully rolled right back out. Thankfully that moment never came. It held up. I relaxed. I really let go. I really started to enjoy myself. I wrote the piece I posted the other day on Happiness. I read some of my book. I felt calm. Content. I listened to the rustling leaves. Beheld the water before me. Took note of the first hint of change among the leaves. Signs of the changes going on in my head and mind and life. I felt really comfortable.

11934990_10101065926766483_2083725934760726606_nThere is something to this hammock, hanging out life I thought. Why am I not doing this more often? A flashback memory to hammock tents I’ve seen. Hmm…..I got to get me one of those.

So I looked it up. Obviously there is the initial benefits I felt: peace, relaxation, comfort. But there is more to hammock life. Little did I know what I was doing five years ago when I rigged one up in my shed. Here are some of the benefits to hammocks and why maybe you should ditch the tent for a hammock that I found:

1. Faster sleep.
2. Zero-Pressure Points. Continue reading “Hit a Hammock: the Benefits to Hanging Out”