I once wrote to myself "a true journey is only as far as walking out your front door". That was in an old travel journal. This winter I've come to learn that it is as far as the armchair. Maybe I'm getting older. But, we have been watching the National Park DVD by Ken Burns and really enjoying it. I'm seeing places that I will probably never be able to go. We don't tend to have the kind of money to travel to Yosemite or places as wonderful as that, nor is it easy to find the time with the kind of farming we do. Not yet! Perhaps someday.
The show has inspired me to do some reading though. I have been looking up the famous people mentioned in the show, such as John Muir, and have realized I have been remiss on not reading their words sooner. Such eloquent words describing our natural wonders. I have also been inspired to read a book entitled "Eight months in Illinois" by William Oliver, written in 1841. If you are interested in what Illinois was like, wild and natural as well as agriculture and commerce, this is a book for you! Wonderful descriptions of landscape and natural beauty, farms and their products, the way of life on the prairie.
With all of this inspiration to get out in nature more, I've been thinking about how so many people don't get to go to fantastic sites around the nation, and for the same reason as us...no money and no time off of work. But, to be able to see it on t.v. or read about it helps. However, Marty and I tend to travel our own back yard (so to speak). Once in a while, and not often enough, we go for a drive. This time of year is best as the foliage is off the trees and we can really see the architecture of the farm buildings and the lay of the land. We drive for hours sometimes, seeing wildlife and nature from the car, stopping occasionally to walk or visit an historic site in some town.
Statistics show that most museums and nature centers have the majority of their visitors from further away, not from towns nearby. But, with the rising cost of gas, Marty and I are travelling closer and closer to home this year. I look out the window and see the trees of the woods, the deer eating our alfalfa, the little birds in the driveway...it really is just outside the front door.