Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Bucket List

I've been struggling for some time on reinventing my blog.  I wanted to write, but what about?  The scary medical trials of Lauren are pretty much over, so what is there that I could share that people would enjoy reading about?  Over the years since Lauren was born, I developed a passion for traveling, camping, and hiking.  I've spent enough time researching trips for each of those categories that I thought some might enjoy the fruits of my labors. From time to time, I might throw in some "Throwback Thursday" posts of some places we've already been and how we got there or the gear we took along with us, but for now, here's my bucket list, which also serves as a preview of sorts for what you're likely to see on this blog in the future.

Bucket List (in Priority Order):
1.  Visit all 50 states (39 down, 11 to go) (track my progress here)
2.  Visit all 442 sites under the National Park Service (you can see that list here.  Note that this document now lists National Heritage Areas, National Trails Systems, and National Wild and Scenic River Systems.  I am not tracking completion of those on the Bucket List.) (105 down, 337 to go -- get planning resources or track my progress here)
3.  Hike the entire Appalachian Trail
4.  Hike the Continental Divide Trail
5.  Hike the Pacific Crest Trail

Ok, just in case that list is either too underwhelming or too broad for you, below is a more specific and slightly less aggressive list that we'll work on while we're in Colorado (full disclosure -- we got a head start on this list a year ago when we vacationed in the area).

Bucket List for our time in Colorado:

1.  Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak
2.  Garden of the Gods
3.  Royal Gorge
4.  Hike on the Continental Divide Trail
5.  Hike on the Colorado Trail
6.  Air Force Academy Football Game
7.  Colorado Avalanche Hockey Game
8.  Colorado Springs Sky Sox Game (Minor League Baseball) (Trip Report)
9.  Denver Broncos Game
10.  Skiing (Trip Report)
11.  Snowshoeing (Trip Report)
12.  Fall Leaf Tour in the Mountains
13.  Run the Incline (Trip Report)
14.  Climb a Fourteener
15.  Paint Mines
16.  Rifle Falls State Park
17.  Whitewater Rafting through Royal Gorge
18.  Ziplining
19.  Rocky Mountain National Park
20.  Great Sand Dunes National Park (Trip Report)
21.  Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
22.  Colorado National Monument
23.  Dinosaur National Monument

Pacific Northwest Sites:
1.  Grand Teton National Park (blog post)
2.  Yellowstone National Park (blog post)
3.  Glacier National Park
4.  Flathead Lake, MT
5.  Seattle
6.  Olympic National Park
7.  Mount Rainier National Park
8.  Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument
9.  Lewis and Clark National Historic Park
10.  Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
11.  Crater Lake National Park
12.  Hell's Canyon Recreation Area, OR/ID
13.  Great Salt Lake

Great Plains:
1.  Fort Mandan/Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
2.  Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site/Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
3.  Theodore Roosevelt National Park
4.  Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
5.  Mount Rushmore National Memorial
6.  Badlands National Park
7.  Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
8.  Carhenge, NE
9.  Scotts Bluff National Monument

1.  Zion National Park
2.  Bryce Canyon National Park
3.  Canyonlands National Park

For some of you, you think I'm insane.  You're right.

Some of you think this is an incredibly eclectic mix of sites.  There are several reasons I love to travel:  One is that I just plain like to have fun.  I also love seeing the beauty of God's creation in different textures.  There's a definite beauty to every place I've traveled.  Each place is stunning in its own unique way.  The third reason I love to travel is that I like understanding the different pieces of our history that weave together the tapestry of who we are.  Not all my kids yet appreciate why it's important to see a rundown trading post on old Route 66, but hopefully someday they'll realize that was America and appreciate it for what it was while understanding how we have evolved past it.

Still others are jealous of my bucket list.  It's this group I most hope to influence -- to spread "the bug".  Stay tuned for reports on our adventures.  I hope it inspires you to get out and experience even a little bit of what this world has to offer.

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