#NatureWritingChallenge - The Year Ahead


“Experiences you hope to have on public lands in 2019”

2019 - Topic 1

January 10, 2019

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“What are you looking forward to this year on public lands?”

More Hikes

Generally speaking, I didn’t hike as much as I would have liked last year. I’d like to use that as fuel to find even more public land hiking spots to explore. I have favorites that I’d like to visit again, but there are so many I haven’t even set foot on. I have several National Forests under 6 hours from home, so I’ll start with those as weekend adventure. From there, I’ll start finding more public land sites in cities I can fly to for cheap or on my way to another destination. I have high hopes of a summer road trip that involves many public lands from Texas to Oregon and back.

More Weekend Warrior Adventures

Speaking to the previous topic of more hikes, I plan to go hard on the weekends hiking as much as my schedule allows. I plan to hike once, but if I can fit a whole day of hiking in or multiple locations, I’m going to do it as often as I can.  I want to do more public land camping during 2019 weekends as well. This will hopefully include national and state public lands.


I want to learn as much as I can this year. That’s a vague goal, so I’ll get specific. One, I want to learn about the history of the land - the people who were there first, how they lived, and the culture in general. What can we learn from them and how can we exist together without continuing to crush their culture? Two, I think the first item will lead me to wanting to learn more about the geological formations of public lands. Third, I plan to make note of plants and animals I see to identify and learn how they support the ecosystem. I am not uneducated on these topics, I just feel they deserve more of my time and that my time would be better spent on them in lieu of television or movies.

More Help

Trails need building, trash needs removing, and organizations need volunteers. I plan to devote more time to helping public lands stay beautiful. I intend to join trail cleanups and maintenance events locally, as well as out of town. I will continue to search for trash on my usual walks and hikes and make an effort to talk to people if they are violating the rules. I renewed my membership with Leave No Trace and I encourage you to join and support them if it is in your budget. I plan to support other conservation organizations throughout the year, as money is available in my budget.

Another Annual Pass

As a household, we purchase an America the Beautiful Pass every year. Whether or not we “get our money out of it” or not, I buy one. Even if I go once, I feel I’m getting a good bang for my buck. Knowing these places exist for me is simply enough.

Specific Experiences

  • Olympic National Park - I’d like to visit for the third year in a row and hike a new trail.

  • Mount Rainier National Park - I want to hike the Skyline Trail at the very least

  • Crater Lake National Park - A visit, even if just a scenic drive (Who am I kidding, I want to hike too)

  • Muir Woods National Monument - I’d like to see this place as well as others in the area

  • Lassen Volcanic National Park - I want to hike here, but would settle for a scenic drive as part of a bigger road trip

  • Columbia River Gorge - Hopeful to visit a few trails that have reopened since the fire

  • Big Thicket National Preserve - explore, since it’s not far

  • Various State Parks in Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas - the easiest weekend warrior option

  • Hot Springs National Park - it’s close and I’m curious

  • Ouachita National Forest - A revisit because I didn’t get far last time

  • Arizona - TBD, just want to visit the desert and meet some people

  • Run a whole trail - nothing too extensive or long, but one whole trail in full

There are plenty of even more specific places and activities I’d like to do, but this is a general idea to lay it out for 2019. I want to generate less waste and visit public lands more efficiently both for the earth and my budget. I’m going to continue to document, track, and promote my adventures on public lands. I want to continue to share the knowledge I gain and promote a balanced experience for all people.