As another year ends and Heather and I start to put the finishing touches on her dream vacation in May (Cancun + the Mayan ruins of the area), the thoughts of where we should go next come to mind in this year-end top 10 countdown of vacation destinations we should see in August and down the road (either before or after that).
If I were to put local places on my list, they would be things like:
- McConnell’sMill western Pennsylvania (PA waterfall).
- The Kecksburg Festival western Pennsylvania (UFOs)
- Meadowcroft Rockshelter (archaeology in western Pennsylvania)
- PA Grand Canyon (hiking on the rails to trails, which we've never done)
- Mount Marcy, New York (highest mountain in New York)
- McAfee Knob, Virginia (will do this mega Appalachian Trail view in March)
- Smokey Mountain National Park, North Carolina / Tennessee (will do this in March with Will and Heidi and family)
- Hocking Hills, Ohio (southern Ohio hiking and waterfalls)
- Yuengling Brewery Tour, Pottsville, Pennsylvania (beer, beer, beer!)
Many of these places are great, it's just that they aren't far away, or in the case of North Carolina / Virginia / Tennessee / Ohio, they're just a driving commitment
Of course, there’s always that dream of Bora Bora, which is expensive enough to be a 10th anniversary trip (not quite 4 years away), so we’ll put that on its own list… the same with going back to places like the Carnegie Museum for dueling T-Rexes, Washington D.C. for all things, Letchworth State Park + Ithaca for winter waterfalls, Yellowstone National Park, Devil's Tower, and the Wave on the Arizona / Utah border. The same divided out list thing could be said about my inability to rappel down through places like thewaterfalls of Squamish, British Columbia, so we’ll just watch them and live vicariously.
So for my dream Go Fund Me (and Heather) list, these would be my current 10 places in America that I want to go (and that I’ve never been to):
- Great Gallery at Canyonlands Horseshoe Canyon. The mix of petroglyphs and canyon hiking are my current white whale. We talked about going in 2010, but we decided not to after coming down with sickness early in our trip. For the eerie, other-worldly images and the rock formations in the middle of the Maze, camping under a billion stars... what's not to put this number 1 on the list?
- Multonomah Falls to Mount Defiance in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. This was another trip that we had planned, but sad things happened, and well, it would be great to plan for it again (I was in the best hiking shape I was in for ages). That said, from the big waterfall in the west to the big mountain in the east, with view of Mount Hood, it would be great to finally get there. Oh hells yeah!
- YosemiteNational Park Waterfalls, rock walls, mountains, nature, animals, and John Muir's playground... Yep! Another great someday trip.
- Those other petroglyph sites (Canyon of the Ancients, Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Nine Mile Canyon, Chimney Rock, Wuptaki National Monument, Petroglyphs NationalMonument, and of course Mesa Verde – though I’ve been to Wuptaki and Mesa Verde before). If I were told that I had to give them up to go see the Great Gallery, I would, but then I'd go see them anyway and risk damaging my karma for lying.
- Crater Lake National Park - I've always wanted to see the lake in the volcanic crater, but it's another park of the Oregon trip that wasn't. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through here as well.
- Glacier National Park Before it's too late, it would be great to get up there and see the mountains, the bears, the glaciers, and the highway (Going to the Sun), way up in the clouds.
- Cape Perpetua Oregon Coast The crashing waves of the Pacific and the exploding and thundering geology-based water fountains (Thor's Well) and the fact that it's another part of the Oregon trip that wasn't, which makes it another get to do it trip.
- Hawaiian helicopter trip For volcanoes or waterfalls (or both), this would be super sweet!
- Havasupai Falls The hike back to these Arizona waterfalls in the Native American part of the Grand Canyon has been on my list forever. The 8 mile walk and the dangerous camping make it tricky, but if there was a way to make it happen...
- Alaska Grizzly bear tour What's a list without bears?!! My parents did one of these. I'd love to do one, too.