On the road
I've spent a good deal of my young life in transit. I've made numerous cross country road trips, all with a great deal to teach me. I love driving across the United States, because each state is different. As you drive, you're continually emerging into new landscapes, new townships, new farms and fields and wildernesses. I love the west, where spaces are wide open and ranches are frequent. I love the southwest, littered with cacti and hot baking desert. I love the northwest, with beautiful crystal streams and mountain lakes. I love the endless flat of the midwest, the rows of corn stretching beyond your eyes. And I love the Northeast; New England will always and forever be my home. No matter where in the country I'm living, I love the variety of America, the crazy and wonderful animals and rocks and flowers that vary from state to state. I love the unexpected things you find, things that never crossed your mind as belonging to just one particular place. It is a beautiful developed wilderness.
My favorite places to visit across the country are our National Parks, the wilderness sites which are enclosed by invisible walls and preserved in the best way the National Park Service knows how. The Park Service does an incredible job with the 400+ sites they manage across the country, from historical sites to monuments to preserves. It is astonishing the amount of work that must go into maintaining these places and hoping that that maintenance is enough to fulfill the mission of the Park Service: to make these places for the benefit and enjoyment of all, to save them for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, so that they might share our joy and wonder at the fierceness and beauty of nature.
For me, one park stands out among the rest. Yellowstone is one of the most commonly discussed parks, generally acknowledged to be one of the "best" by whatever system of measurement you care to use, but it has a special place in my heart. I was granted the incredible opportunity to live in the heart of Yellowstone for two summers, spending every day and night inside its boundaries. I worked in housekeeping, making beds and cleaning toilets. My hands grew red and raw and broken from the dryness of the climate and the constant exposure to chemicals. My legs grew hungry for the endless miles of trails which crisscross the park from end to end. My eyes grew accustomed to sightings of bears, elk, bison, and coyotes. I was surrounded by coworkers-turned-friends, love triangles, true romances, and upsetting rivalries. If there is anything Yellowstone could not provide for me, it was something I did not then need in my life. How could I not be enchanted by this delightful place, filled with strange geysers and wild animals?
I was fortunate enough to grow up somewhere beautiful. The "quiet corner" of Connecticut is rural and peaceful. I love taking my dog for walks in the woods, watching the autumn leaves change, and seeing the animals who creep up to eat our tastiest plants.
Salt lake city
Of course the west has its own charms that New Englanders live without. I am happy to trade in my rolling hills for the magnificent mountains on offer in my latest city of interest. The architecture is pretty engaging as well, I have to admit. I'm not at all disappointed with my surroundings as I settle down to live & work in Salt Lake City, despite having come for the treasures available indoors!