A road trip before summer break is a leisurely way to enjoy remote highways, quaint towns, and chat with the locals—all before school gets out. It’s also unpredictable in terms of weather, but the tradeoff is stunning cloud formations, rushing rivers, lush green meadows, and wildflowers blanketing the hills!
Below are some photos from the California coast, central Oregon, the Payette National Forest in Idaho, the Lolo Pass, and Montana. California included Bodega Bay, Fort Bragg, Avenue of the Giants, and Jedediah Smith State Park.
Crater Lake, Oregon, Sisters, and heading east to Idaho.
McCall, Idaho and driving along the Salmon River
Lolo Pass to Montana—Missoula, Bison Range, and the Bitterroot
In late February 2022, I began the journey of becoming a docent in one of the most celebrated parks on the California coastline, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. It was a nine-week journey with a class of wonderful people, and as any interpretive training should be, it continues to include enrichment opportunities on a regular basis. Simply put, there is always more to learn, more inspiration, and more opportunities to share with others.
Mind you, this is a volunteer position. Not everyone can make this kind of time commitment. But I encourage you to make time to visit the redwoods. Please ask a docent why these magnificent trees are so tall—and how do they adapt to fire? Why do they grow in such weird formations, for example, like a trident? Ask how much carbon they capture compared to other trees! I can answer these questions, but it's so much more meaningful when you are standing inside a redwood grove, breathing in the cool air, seeing the rays of sun pierce through the canopy, and hearing songbirds greet you.
Special thanks to State Parks Lead Interpreter, Dylan McManus, a dynamic educator and guardian of the coast redwood galaxy.
Coastal redwoods and Rattlesnake Recreation Area, MT. The trees of fall.