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