four years ago today [2012.09.10]
on this day i woke up just outside of devil's tower national monument. i think i had seen a photo or something of it not that long before this trip and thought it'd be neat to go out there. it was awesome to be exploring and seeing these places i wanted to visit. i went into the park and explored some of the trails in the morning and then headed back into south dakota on the not so direct route to montana via north dakota. i stopped at a green spot on the map there, just outside of theodore roosevelt national park, where i saw some interesting landscapes.
in a lot of places i visited or drove through, i felt i could've stayed longer and explored more, though i wanted to keep on heading west to stay on track to make it to the west coast before it got colder (as i had begun the journey much later than i originally wanted to). in the future i'd eliminate as many constraints as possible to being open for spontaneity. i faced a few limitations, like non-existent phone service when a web application client decided they want much more than they originally asked for, having paid a lot for a campground membership that was running out with locations only on the west coast states, and having left when it was already starting to get cold in some places in my journey. next time, i wouldn't drive as much each day and would see how i feel during the journey rather than sticking to a pretty rigid plan.
i did this a little later for part of the trip and would enjoy doing it the whole time. life is so much nicer when we're relaxed and in the present moment rather than thinking we need to follow a certain plan.
allowing ourselves to be more flexible and spontaneous opens us up to new opportunities. the day before this when i was at the tour at wind’s cave national park (which going there wasn’t part of my plan), i recall i was in the elevator with the young park ranger who gave the tour, and i think after everyone else had gotten out, she said something about being hungry (wanting pizza or something).. had i been more flexible and spontaneous, i could’ve asked if she wanted to join me for dinner and perhaps made a new friend.