I thought it would be nice to get in writing a different perspective other than my own about this once-in-a-lifetime-trip and I have been
bugging asking the boys if either of them would like to contribute. Dan has been pretty busy catching up on Netflix and You Tube videos but Mike finally took the bait and decided he had something to say. I am so glad he did. And I am grateful that all of his hard work the past however-many-years has allowed us to do something this amazing.
So, here you go…
My family took a big vacation when I was 14 years old. It started at Philmont Scout Ranch with my Dad and then, after hooking up with the rest of the family, continued as a 2 ½ week road trip through the American West to see extended family in Arizona and California exploring places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton National Park along the way. It is a near month-long period of my life I remember well and fondly, not so much for any individual activity, event or outing but for the sheer scale of the thing. The summer of 1983 is one I will not forget.
As an adult, I always promised myself I would plan a similar adventure with my own family maybe without the boy scout trip but largely seeing the same sites I had seen as child. The American West is awesome, in every sense of the word, and I wanted my own children – even before I had them – to experience that too. But each family and time is unique and having a child with Down Syndrome, while in many ways the biggest blessing our family has ever received, is not really conducive to 10 hours days on the road. Also, we all fell in love with Hawaii over the past decade – especially Angie.
Today is July 27, 2017. It’s raining outside. I am looking out over the Kapoho Tide Pools on the far eastern side of the Big Island. It is the penultimate day of our month long trip and everyone in the house is more-or-less doing their own thing. Seems like a good time to take stock of a trip that has been germinating in my mind, in one way or another, for probably three decades and in the formal planning stages (with Angie doing most of the work to make it happen) for the better part of five years.
There has been a lot to remember about this trip. Here are five of my favorite shots out of the more than 4,000 I took over the course of the month.