I recently returned from a trip “home.” (though I am never quite sure where home is anymore)  I went back to the US. To small town, Western US. To Wyoming. To the mountains and nature. It’s always nice going there. It reminds me of some of the great things about the US.

Yellowstone

Yellowstone

While we can always complain about government and management of public programs, I have to say that the US system of National Parks, National Forests and Wilderness Areas is pretty awesome. There are so few protected areas around the world, free from human disturbances and housing, and the US has thousands of square miles (or kilometers) of just such land (though it is a bit disturbed by humans, for sure). It is really incredible. We took a drive through Yellowstone National Park and saw elk, deer, antelope, buffalo (with babies), a moose, marmots, fish, a baby black bear, and many other animals. Not to mention the breathtaking views of waterfalls and geysers and other natural phenomenon.

Yellowstone Canyon

Yellowstone Canyon

Living in Mexico City can take a toll on one´s need for clean air, green spaces, and most of all wide open spaces where you don’t see any cars or buildings or people. That´s one thing I love about Wyoming/Montana/Colorado … there is so much vast, open space. Land free of civilization. Even compared to Europe it is a shock to travel to the West of the US and experience the physical difference in size of landscape, and so much without any evidence of people “taming” the land. I guess that´s the magic of the “wild west” of the US. It never has quite been tamed. Too bad there aren´t more places like that left in the world. 

Yellowstone Geyser

Yellowstone Geyser

I have to believe that a country like Mexico has places to go backpacking and hiking and camping, but I must admit that after over 2 years living here I don´t know of them … sure there´s the big forest near the city called “Desierto de los Leones” … that is neither a desert nor has lions. Strange. and my greatest personal discovery of late has been Valle de Bravo — a lovely town perched on the edge of a (man-made) lake – great for hiking, biking, flying :), sailing, water-skiing and more, and I know you can always camp on the miles of Mexico’s Pacific coastline. But I dont know much about hiking/camping in mountainous areas … any advice out there? or hiking/camping guide books?

The Beartooth Mountains

The Beartooth Mountains

On this trip to the US I talked to my mom a bit about her younger years. Turns out she came to Mexico over 30 years ago and climbed several of the volcanoes here with my father. (el “Popo” and “Itze” as she calls them, which by the way, are over 14,000 feet high – yikes!) It’s crazy to think about my parents as a young hippie couple in the 1970´s exploring wild Mexico and mountain climbing here! And now, years later, who would have thought they would have a daughter living abroad in the now much more developed country south of the border?? Perhaps it´s the natural cycle of life. Be careful where you travel or your children just might end up living there years later!

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