Joan Dorsey
Guest columnist
One of the benefits of being a little older is the time you can spend on reading.
When I had young kids reading was a relaxation I didn’t allow myself to partake very often. If you read you sit, or lay. with kids it seems sitting isn’t much of an option. Usually you are running or cooking or picking up etc, etc.
My Mom had a thing for books about people when she got older. She wasn’t a fiction fan or a romance reader, but biographies and auto biographies, claimed her interests.
I discovered a number of books last year in a specific style or genre. I read books about just plain people who went on pilgrimages or visited national parks.
The whole thing started when I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. She took on the Pacific Coast trail. Fantastic book, I have yet to see the movie. From there I found a book called Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith. It was a collection of letters ( e-mails)written by a couple to friends as they tried to visit every national park in the system. Excellent book. I would recommend both of these, and there are many more. I recently watched a good movie with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte called A Walk in the Woods. They walked part of the Appalachian trail.
I have no desire to walk, hundreds of miles or to camp out every night. None at all. As the Girl scouts say, my idea of camping is the Holiday Inn.
I do however enjoy driving or spending time in our National Parks. Most recently my sisters, brother and I explored Muir Woods, outside of San Francisco. It would be a place to spend a lot more time. Just to sit and enjoy the quiet and the surroundings. I generally don’t have anyone to travel to the parks with, so reading these travel adventures fills the need. While in Muir Woods I also found out an interesting fact. If you are over 62, you must be past your 62nd birthday, you can buy a senior pass for the National Parks system. The cost is $20.00. if you go to the http://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html you can read the requirements. It has numerous benefits and can save you money. Who doesn’t enjoy a bargain?
So when the snow is flying and spring seems far away, see if you can find some of these books about our national parks. You can live vicariously through the adventures of these travelers. Maybe watch a good movie along those lines too. Then if the spirit moves you get that over 62 pass and take a trip to a park nearby. Who knows? Maybe you will get the gear and set out for the trip of a life time!