January? When?

Those of you who know me well already know how I started off my year. I spent three days (January 1-3) glued to my little laptop computer and WIFI, here among the majestic mountains of Denali National Park and Preserve.

I knew and worked with Margaret Anderson when I worked at Mount Rainier. In fact, she lived two buildings/houses over from me at headquarters. Of course, I was in the Division of Interpretation and she was a Law Enforcement Ranger, but she used to wave to me on her drive home.

Despite this tragedy, or maybe because of it, I find myself thinking back through all of the accumulated HAPPY memories I have from our parks.

Finding that last Harebell of the season on the Bierstadt Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park in late September, 2007, after returning to Colorado from a research field season in Alaska.

Remembering all of the unique sounds that Yellowstone’s landscape makes. (To me, Yellowstone is all about soundscapes. Everything builds up to Nature’s Chorus there.)

Or watching a black bear scrambling around on a log near the White River in Mount Rainier National Park in the spring of 2010.

How about that time (those months?) I picked berries of many colors around the shores of Wonder Lake in Denali?

The message, at least for me, is that I draw strength and inspiration through the rough times from over 30 years of happy memories in our magnificent National Parks.

January, thus far, has been a month of reflection, conversation with friends, and a time to look back through the plethora of photos I’ve taken in our parks. I feel much more energized to tackle the coming summer season.