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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom

As most of my fans know my parents made it a priority to take my brother and I to national parks. We traveled to parks from New York's Statute of Liberty to Arizona's Grand Canyon.  We also spent time in Florida's Everglades and Alaska's Denali. Although I didn't always appreciate them at the time, those trips are some of my most cherished memories.

In 1972, we moved to Alaska. To make the move, we bought a Ford Truck and Camper. Over the next 12 years we put thousands of miles on the truck. We spent countless nights around campfires and toasting marshmallows and regaling the family with tales of our days adventure.

These camping trips in America's wilderness away from just about everyone else in the world, deeply bonded our family. 

I now have a family of my own and have come to realize how much work and effort goes into a family camping trip. My dad, and especially my mom made these trips appear effortless and with minimal drama. I've come to appreciate how much my mom and dad did to make these trips adventures that I'll never forget.

My mom during these trips planned all our meals, carried heavy backpacks, packed the camper, shared the driving and often put her family's needs ahead of her own. Oh, yeah and she often went on these trips with perfect hair and style.

All of the pictures included for this blog post were taken long before smart phones and selfies. As such, someone had to be the camera person. Guess what? That camera person was often my mom. My brother, father and I are in the lion's share of the camping pictures, which makes the ones I do have of my mom all the more precious.

Mom your work at these, and countless other times of my life didn't go unnoticed. Your efforts if not at the time, are now much appreciated. You set an example that I now try to emulate with my family.

I hope you have a very happy birthday. Let's plan a trip to a national park soon!
Sean Smith is a former Yellowstone Ranger, and an award winning conservationist, TEDx speaker, and author. He writes national park thrillers from his home in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park. To learn more about his thrillers click here or follow him on twitter: @parkthrillers

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to your Mom, Sean. I wish her all the best. I know what she went through planning, packing and preparing for family camping. My husband and I do the same thing every summer--except with five kids in tow. I talk about our adventures and offer tips at my blog Camping with Kids. We've never been to Alaska, but we've visited quite a few lower 48 state's National Parks and a few in Canada.
    I'm sharing your post online to remind families to visit National Parks, especially during this 100th birthday of the National Park System. Thanks for sharing this with your followers. All the best, Sean.