It is the Friday after the election and I am going through the grieving process, mostly because I fear for the things in life that I hold precious.  So in trying to process this, I have decided to go to Yellowstone National Park, since we have the day off for Veteran’s Day.

Because it is off season, and a week day, I had the place almost to myself.  It was an amazing 70 degrees and sunny, and although most of the roads have already been closed for winter, I enjoyed just walking around the boardwalk at Mammoth Springs, and hanging out in the meadow and contemplating life.

In nature I am always able to find peace, it is where I go when I need to go within.  I am so grateful that beauty is all around us, and my hope is that we will all weather the storms ahead and keep close the things that are most important to us, like family, friends and love.

So enough heavy stuff…  Since I was not able to get to many of the places in the park today, I thought I would share some photos of people I love, here with me at Yellowstone, over the last few years:

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Katie and Becky Whitmore with me Summer, 2016

Had a blast this summer when Katie and Becky came out to visit.  One of the many fun things we did was visit YNP.  We also floated the Yellowstone River, went to Shakespeare in the Park and hiked to the falls at Pine Creek.  I am hoping they come again next year!!!

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Mike, Kathy and I at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

My brother Mike and sister in law Kathy came out in September 2015.  It was a glorious day to drive around the park, even though earlier that week we had cold and snow.   A great time.  I hope you guys come back!

My mother and her partner Mary came out to visit me in January 2015.  Mary met friends and went on an adventure while my mother stayed with me for almost 2 weeks.  It was a wonderful visit, full of eating, drinking, watching movies and taking naps.

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Me and Mom

A highlight of the trip of course was visiting the park.  We could only go to Mammoth Hot Springs because the road travel was limited but we saw a ton of bison and elk and of course the beauty of the thermal areas.  Mom, I love you so much!!!

July of 2015, my good friend Ginny and my sister Valerie drove back from WI with me and stayed for a visit.  It was wonderful.  The park was beautiful but tough because we went around the 4th of July, the busiest week of the year for NYP.  It was still great and I had a blast with them, and I’m sure that will not the last road trip the 3 of us will make!

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Ginny, Valerie and me at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Way back in 2010, my sister Kathy visited me and here is a photo of our trip to YNP.

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Kathy in YNP 2010

Since 2010, Kathy has visited me when I lived in Whitefish, and again here in Livingston more than once.  I’m sure she will be back!

My good friend Sally visited in April of 2016.  We had kind of crappy weather but for the day we went to YNP it was beautiful.  It was early in the season, but the roads were all open.  We saw bear, moose, elk, bison and even a wolf crossed our path.  I love this picture of her as she just takes it all in:

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Sally on the banks of the Firehole River YNP 2015

Ok, back to the present.  Even though this trip was tough, as I was working through the stages of grief and worrying about our future, the happy memories of other visits to the park has soothed my pain and made me hopeful for our future.  One thing that politics cannot change is the love we have in our lives.

What I learned about the Park:

You can never get too much of YNP!

What I learned about myself:

I am soothed by nature.  I need it and cannot imagine a life without it.  I saw a card in one of the gift shops at YNP it read “my feet might be tired but my soul is awake”.  That is how I feel when I pay attention to the beauty around me.

I also received a card from a friend that had a quote on it from John Steinbeck that said; “I’m in love with Montana.  For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, and even some affection.  but with Montana it is love.  And it is difficult to analyze love when you’re in it”.  Amen brother.  That is how I not only feel about Montana, but all of nature.

My advice to you:

Come and visit me!!!

Share your thoughts:

Where do you go when you need peace?  Let me know how you are coping with the upcoming changes?  Where is your happy place?

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