"For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made]..." Romans 1:20 AMP
Wilderness is forever my favorite long, deep exhale. The intentionality of a Creator to form a created world in rocky peaks, golden sun specks, horned and hoofed creatures, life rooted in petaled blooms and towering timber. All this, breathed into existence so that humanity had a place to land when formed from the very dust that carpets it all. Stunning down to the last complex cell. Insert the aforementioned long, deep exhale.
There is a quote on the wall of the Jackson, WY visitor center by Edward Abbey that reads, "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit..." I am not sure the origin of the quote, or even the context, but I can't help but see creation written deeply into the bends and edges of Edward's words.
With a "can't help myself" type focus on the extreme generosity of the God who gives us beauty and wild spaces for mankind to enter into both in existence and in present day spirit deep refreshing, it is my aim to raise babies with a sense of freedom and confidence built into their lifestyle. The kinds that can only be defined in them by the spaces of nature the Lord Himself brought about alongside the splendor of the Heavens.
And so with a little bit of a crazy in us, we recently zipped stuffed bags, packed coolers with pretzels, peanut butter, and gummy bears for a trip aimed in a continued allowance and experience of those lessons to take root in our two year old. Seven hours to Jackson, WY, 2 days of magic and bear sightings in Grand Teton National Park, two days of color-scales, bison, and steamy wonder in Yellowstone, and a cherry on top with slow mornings of quiche and creamy coffee drinks at an elevation fit for moose and wolf sightings in Big Sky, MT.
Hours marked in hunting waterfalls and two year old meltdowns. I hope as mommas we can continue to encourage our little ones to live a life full of all that God has to offer them, starting with the very spaces He designed in preparation for our landing. Glimpses into creation, and perhaps even more important in their glimpses into the renewal of all things to come.
With that thought, I pray that you find time for a little wild in your week, month, or year. With some gummy bears, plenty of pitstops for flaky cinnamon rolls, and adventures that end with nights cuddled up with your people, pizza, and the pillowy mattresses of charming inns, the potential tantrums and unforeseen hiccups of road-tripping last but in the moment. Wild child moments in all their glory. Oh yeah, and that deep exhale, it is well worth it all and then some, I promise.
Road Trip Melt-Down Remedies:
- Allllll the easy clean-up snacks packed in zip-lock baggies, easy to grab, and no fuss if spilled (all natural gummy bears are a win for our crew).
- Download your little's favorite Netflix series for long hours in a car seat, no cell service required.
- Interact with your littles. Ask them to spot waterfalls, bears, moose, the things that aren't common, but will excited them when their little eyes spot them first.
- Stops. Stops. Stops. We do rest-stop PB&J picnics, coffee shop stops to hunt down the best pastries and cold brews, stops at visitor centers or dorky "points of interest" (hello giant copper dinosaurs and the like), anything that will get imaginations and conversations going in our little man so that we have something to continue on with once buckled back in the dreaded car seat.
- Always have: diapers, wipes, shoes (open and close toed), blankets, snacks, sippies, and fun entertainment ready and available so they are an easy grab and quick fix to help restless little ones.
- Have a good attitude. Road trips are hard. I can get bored on them, how much more must little ones feel that? Remember that in everything we do, we are TEACHING them, even if it is the lessons of grace, patience, and understanding that do number on both them and us, these are welcomed and needed in character formation. Take them with open hands and a determined spirit.
Also, if you happen to find yourself in Jackson, WY check out:
- Cowboy Coffee Co. (@Cowboycoffeeco)
- Pinky G's Pizzeria (@Pinkygsjh)
- Anvil Hotel (@Anvilhotel)
- Moo's Gourmet Icecream
- Local Restaurant and Bar (Localjh)
Or in Big Sky, MT, Check out:
- Blue Moon Bakery
- Pizza Works
- Andiamo Italian Grill
- Big Sky Resort (@BigSkyResort)