Ok, so we finally decided what we are doing. Its been almost three years since I've been to Petit Jean and today I made reservations for three nights there! I'm so excited, and hope to be able to see a lot of my friends, plus my little girl is plenty old enough for a camping trip and a hike. Don't worry...I won't make her roll the whole way since she can't even crawl, I will carry her, I have a backpack thingy that should work. And for those of you in my profession (I guess that would be my former profession you will totally get this next part) I can't even count how many meetings, trainings and conferences I've sat in where you thought about the park you work at, in my case Petit Jean, and you are asked the definitive question, if you only had one day to visit, what would you do? Three years since I've faced that question at Petit Jean, I still don't have the answer but am faced with the reality of it. I'm only going to have a very short amount of time at Petit Jean, with a five month old, not nearly enough time to hike all of my favorite trails (which is only limited to trails...actually it isn't there are some of my favorite places just off of trails!) and view all of my favorites. Of course, I would love to go to the Richter Overlook at sunset, that is probably one of the most special places for me, because that is where my husband got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. So romantic! Anyway, that's only one of many places I can think of. I would love to stand at the bottom of Cedar Falls and hear the rushing of the water as it crashes into the pool below. I would love to hike Seven Hollows, look to see if the cottonmouth still lives there, and sit for a minute on the rock where I came up with many newspaper articles, program ideas, and contemplated life. I also want to see how much the area has changed in the last three years...after all it has been almost 10 years since the fire. I would love to hike Cedar Creek and look back as the creek peacefully rolls along, unaware of the ride it is about to take. I want to climb on the rocks at Bear Cave, walk along the lake to the Davies Bridge, sit at the edge of the reservoir (formerly my backyard), and I want to have some yummy fajita nachos at Ortegas. And since it is Easter weekend, the most amazing sunrise services take place there. Oh the places I could go (had to throw that in, couldn't help myself!) If you are one of the friends I made there, and you are still in the general vicinity and might possibly be able to make it that weekend (HMMMM....PARK WIFE I MEAN YOU:) we have confirmed reservations!
Ok, so I know many of you have visited the park and know many of the places. If you only had a day, what would you do?