Monday, June 27, 2011

My Bucket List Desinations... it's about the JOURNEY

Everyone has a bucket list... some are experiences, some are destinations, some are skills or accomplishments.  My bucket list (aside from seeing my Preds play in every other team's barn) is made up of journeys in different places.  Most of my places are on the North American continent... which probably makes me a lucky girl.  Here, in no particular order, are my Bucket List Journeys:

Sierra National Forest
Photo belongs to Mike Jones
Who wouldn't want to visit Bull Buck, the second-largest tree on the planet? The Sierra National Forest has enough sequoias to make even giants feel small. Bull Buck, a 2,700-year-old tree, towers over 247 feet and I'm certain it will make me feel like I've tumbled through a rabbit hole into some magickal realm.  Located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, this California woodland’s hiking highlights includes John Muir WildernessAnsel Adams Wilderness and several others.

Grand Canyon National Park
Photo from
I grew up near the Grand Canyon and can't remember ever actually seeing it.  In my late 20's or early 30's, I remember flying west and the pilot pointed it out in the distance.  The setting sun glowed red and magickal over the earthen rock.  I'm dying to climb down a world famous gorge with a depth of about 6,000 feet (or 1 mile)... and equally dying to climb back UP.  I'm one of those weirdo's who prefers up or level to down. For those with the endurance and will, this hike is bound to be one of the greatest adventures of a lifetime. The government site about Grand Canyon National Park gives lifesaving pointers such as avoid huffing and puffing to ensure your body is getting enough oxygen during that arduous journey.

Yellowstone.  If ever there was a place on earth that was amazing due to geology, this would be it.  Home to one of the world’s super volcanoes (the one they made the TV show about that’s been dormant for about 640,000 years and due to blow it's top), this wilderness safe haven holds so many wonders!  Old Faithful Geyser. Even another active volcano. While the park’s geological attributes really provide no eminent threat, perhaps it does add a hint of danger to the trek while weaving through trails overflowing with the highest concentration of mammals in the lower 48.

Glacier National Park
I've been to Glacier but didn't get to hike.  It was October (and I had one, rainy day to get a view of the park).  I remember Logan's Pass (I think?) was closed already.   Glacier National Park looks like the Swiss Alps without having to travel so far. Breath taking views along the Going-to-the-sun-road. Watching the sunrise over the gorgeous mountains. Hiking some of the most beautiful trails in the United States. The best part is the park is hardly ever crowded because it's way up in northern Montana about 45 miles from the Canadian border.  I can't wait to go again, and staying in White Fish, MT was a blast all by itself!  Did I mention I met my first real cowboy in here?  I love this place.

Grand Tetons

Photo from - Visit them!
I think the Grand Tetons are the most photographed mountains in the US.  There are a magnitude of trails and so many rumored, hidden qualities of the peaks and canyons. One look at Painbrush Canyon and I'm always willing to pack my bags.

Denali National Park

Denali, Care of
And then, there's Denali.  Never has a single mountain called to me like Mount McKinley and the Denali Range.  I've loved that mountain since I was a kid and, while I have no plans to summit that beast, I'm sure that one day I will hike it's base and trails.  Snow capped peaks are my very favorite and the amazing spring/summer in Denali is guaranteed to please.  The park is massive, the wildlife is amazing, the rangers are helpful (they provide bear canisters and teach you want to do during bear encounters) and the views are nothing short of enchanting.  

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