"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Our 25-year-old son Paul is an avid and amazing outdoorsman, going on great adventures in the wilderness  whenever he can.  We are so very proud of him and his many accomplishments and endeavors in the great outdoors.  We raised our kids to be comfortable in the outdoors, to rise to the challenges there, and to love the natural beauty that surrounds us every day.  Paul has surpassed our expectations in both his love of the outdoors and his achievements there.  

Paul on a climb... mustn't be up too high as I'm not seeing a helmet anywhere in this photo. 
So, it should not have been a surprise to me when he called a few weeks back and told me there was a great adventure coming up.  He told me rather off-handedly "We're driving to Banff" (he has a great group of like-minded friends).  I had to stop and think for a moment, as the only Banff I know is in Alberta, Canada, A STINKING LONG DRIVE.  So, I had to think "is there a Banff in the Smokey Mountains, or the Catskills?" I asked him "Canada?" He chuckled "yes."  Of course!  I told him that I applaud his spirit of adventure.  

And off they went and they are covering some serious miles, with their angels on their shoulders, I assume.  After hitting the road on May 12, today they are in Montana headed north into Canada.  There are 3 separate cars, all pointed in the same direction.  

Along the way they are hiking and climbing, hitting as many National and State Parks as they can.  They are all experienced outdoorsmen and women who enjoy a challenge.  I do not worry about them in the wilderness, as Paul and a few of the others are Wilderness First Responders... they are the individuals the Rangers would send out to rescue them if they needed to be rescued.  

They arrived in the BadLands National Park in South Dakota just at sunset.  As explained by Wikipedia, Badlands are "a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water."  

And, this is what they look like at sunset:  

Absolutely fabulous!  I remember that one of the trips my dear dad dragged my mom on was to the Badlands and in the same trip Mount Rushmore.  He spent days photographing in the Badlands and was fascinated by the landscapes there.  I imagine he's smiling down on Paul and his friends.  

I've requested a "sunset a day" journal but haven't received any more (yet).  I imagine that getting to Montana and onto Canada has taken precedence over my request for sunsets.  Hopefully they'll slow down a bit and share a few more sights with us.  It's an amazing world we live in.  


  1. Oh I can understand why you are so proud! Although you are amazingly calm! It sounds like quite and adventure and I am looking forward to more beautiful pictures!! Will be praying for a fun time and a safe return.

  2. Gorgeous sunset! Sounds like a trip of a lifetime.

  3. Wonderful, Angela!! Young bodies must do these thing while supple and able. Your dear Dad is doing more than smiling down, I suspect he is the angel you mentioned on Paul's shoulder.

  4. PS...Paul is one handsome guy, I want to adopt him! ;)


Some day, I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one, I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.