Summer Adventures

After the last two years, I am sure that many have the same desire as our family to hit the open road and see the world again with a new found perspective and appreciation. As an entrepreneur, educator, and endurance athlete, I’ve always been “comfortable” experiencing the exciting and terrifying moments that this world has to offer. A better way to say it might be that I don’t let the knowledge that there will be twists and turns in our story or a few comfort sacrifices along the way to get to keep us from some of life’s greatest treasures. 

As I look towards this summer’s start to our three-year journey to experience all 63 U.S. National Parks, it fills me with joy and a sense of adventure that I knew from my youth. The emotions become overflowing when I think of watching those experiences be taken in through the eyes of my five-year-old boy Hudson, and three-year-old daughter Kalea. The thoughts quickly move to how to maximize the experiences, which is another word that needs to be revamped in this situation. My “maximize” thoughts that come to mind first are to minimize the distractions that will pull us away from fully immersing ourselves in the experience. We want to build-in systems so that we have access to our electronic world while we travel in our vehicle and then once we arrive at our destinations we can withdraw from technology and fully immerse in the moments of nature. The technology for the road trip will completely transform the long journeys for my children from the trips of my youth. As an educator, I’m running through thoughts of learning games and modules and shows that have educational value and content.

DeCou Spring 2022

Once we step out of the vehicle, that’s where the outdoor immersion takes place. The visions of lakes, streams, forests, petrified forests, canyons, and the occasional water park, fishing experiences and so many other outdoor hobbies to soak in and enjoy brings a smile and scenes of peace deep in my soul that are hard to properly express. The National Parks are one of our greatest treasures. The opportunity to share those with my growing children and have the experience pour into their spirits and give them a sense of awe and wonder that still encompasses being in the presence of nature seems like one of the best ways my family and I can spend our time this summer as we recalibrate and see how to relate to this evolving world that we are living in. 

The Wild Parks Family is a culmination of so many aspects of our lives that Kristin and I have woven together. It’s made possible by our ability to step out into uncertainty and put hope before fear, adventure before perceived stability. These years will continue to mold and shape our family like so many adventures in the past. We’ll come back at the end of each summer more ready to take on the rigors of our work  and daily routines, and to pour back into the community where we live. The time climbing mountains with the kids will continue to teach them that they can do hard things. Jumping into rivers and lakes will invigorate them with the sensations of a vibrant world at their fingertips. The travelers we run into both known and unknown will be an ever-expanding confirmation of the power of interaction and human camaraderie. This adventure is another building block for our family on our path. When I think about the wild parks and the thousands of miles we’ll travel in close contact and often with minimal showers and all the highs and lows that come with adventures I smile to myself and wait eagerly with anticipation for the adventure that awaits.

Rob DeCou, Wild Parks Family

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