Friday, June 8, 2012

sabbatical part 2

After telling my boss of our upcoming plans, she congratulated me on the opportunity and said she would manage somehow. Since I am an independent contractor instead of an employee she is not really my boss, but that is what I call her and we have a good working relationship. She never really said that I would have a job upon return, but I am on the schedule for those weeks as a leave of absence.

The plan is to visit some of the beautiful and iconic national parks, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Devils Tower, Glacier, and time permitting maybe even Zion and Bryce in Utah and the Grand Canyon, along with a lot of stops in between and along the way to experience as much Americana as possible on this the ultimate road trip.

Instead of our usual weekend or week-long trips, where we rush through and take lots of pictures to enjoy later, this trip we can take time to explore the areas at a much slower pace, and maybe even take some time to relax (which is usually not on the agenda of hurry up and see everything, we can rest at home! attitude).

Research is underway. Different routes are being explored. Travel guides are arriving in the mail. Campground reviews are being perused. And of course a list has been started, well several lists.

A recent study found:

If you are happy about an upcoming vacation this summer, enjoy the feeling while it lasts. Because research shows that happiness may not come during the vacation, or even after it, but before. It turns out it is the anticipation that gives you joy.

So we are in the planning stage, the anticipation is well underway. And it seems we are in the right demographic for national park visitors:

At Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, rangers are seeing more than green this spring. They're also noticing a little more gray. The average visitor to national parks is getting older, the average age of visitors has risen to 46.

Back in 1996, almost a third of visitors were in their 20s. But in the last few years, that number has dropped to just 11 percent at Yosemite and 6 percent at Yellowstone, according to a University of Idaho analysis of Park Service attendance figures.

"Right now, we see a lot of youth not coming to the parks," said Larry Frederick, a park ranger for more than 15 years who has noticed the changing demographics. "I think there a lot of distractions right now for young people."
~ NBC Nightly News

I know we already are seeing a lot of the country in our travels for work, and we already are staying in a camper... but it is not REAL camping, no campfire or hiking or listening to the sounds of nature, just working and living in our own little mobile home.

So yes, the anticipation is high, looking forward to really getting away from it all. Now the next question is - what will happen to stop us?


Everything Changes said...

Lots of pics to come!!!

The Jones Family said...

I love that you will be going to several National Parks. We are a National Park family. Love them all! My oldest son is now a National Park Ranger in Nevada. I highly recommend the Utah National Parks if you can manage it. Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion are all fairly close together and all amazingly beautiful!