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I have taken my family all across this country visiting parks, monuments and out of the way spots I saw on a map. We saw an opportunity, especially before we were bogged down with kids school to take them anywhere we could think to go.

We had a routine for these trips and we took many. I would plan the routes, organize supplies, do the driving, where we would camp etc. My wife had the hardest job, tend to the kids, pack their supplies and make sure they have activities during the sometimes 12 hour drives bounding from one area to another. Once we set up camp for a couple of days we worked together but getting there she had it harder than me.

Well neither my wife and I had traveled America so this was an adventure each time. Of the many things I remember, what sticks out from those years is this. During one of these trips we were driving from Yellowstone to Glacier national park. We were mid way, in Montana, you know big sky country, when my wife asked me, "Are we near the ocean?". It was a pure moment, a pure moment of trust. I was leading them on an adventure, I was responsible for them. It gave me confidence that my wife trusted my judgement such that she felt comfortable relaxing and enjoying the places we were visiting. I value that and respect that. So much so that I meticulously planned these trips so she could have that trust. I try to maintain that trust with her and my kids daily. Remembering to step up to the plate, guide them to where we are going even if they don't know where we are.

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Although for a good number of years we put them in packs, until they were about 50lbs, they are bigger now and like to hike on their own. This was us just climbing out of a crater in Death Valley. We are dirty as heck and loving it.
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