If I could choose to do anything I wished for a living, I would spend time visiting the national parks and write photo books about my experiences. One problem with this dream is that there are already many people who do this very thing. Just look at the visitor's centers and you will find any number of books filled with photos of the parks. That said, against very long odds, I hope to complete a book on Arches later this month. I have no illusions it will ever be much more than just a little something I put together for my own satisfaction. The site I will be publishing it through will have it available for sale, but I do not anticipate that more than three copies will ever be sold, and I will likely be the one to buy them all. Still, it will be an accomplishment. After all, I did manage to enter three photos into the state fair this year after saying I was going to enter for at least a decade. I am sure I will experience some level of satisfaction of seeing the book in print. I did a Yellowstone photo book for my dad recently and I liked it well enough to buy a copy for myself as well. That one was only photos and I do not think it is available for purchase unless I purchase additional copies. What I am slowly and very indirectly getting at is it would be a dream made real if my Arches book actually sold well and I was able to do other books. I could easily put one together for Capitol Reef as well at this point.
That would be my dream job; not only because I would be writing and taking photos for a living, but because I could actually spend more time in nature. While I missed having Merilee with me this last trip to Arches, being able to spend time immersed in the wonders of that place, listening to the wind and feeling the peace of being away from so many people and the demands of everyday life was something I needed more than I could ever describe. I think back to my hike out to Tower Arch and I remember being almost drawn by the trail. When I started, I had no plan to do the whole trail. I just wanted to see what the first part of the trail looked like, but the further I went, the further I wanted to go. Yes, when I got to the hill of sand, I wondered what I was thinking and if I should go on or just turn back, but I kept going (and I really do not like walking uphill in sand). Even though I was getting tired and was really not in the best of shape, something drew me on. When I finally reached the arch, it was all worth it. I had come 1.7 miles, seeing areas of the park I had never experienced before, and here I stood before something remarkably grand, inspiring, and breath taking. I sat there for awhile, a solitary human amidst natural wonders. That kind of experience is what helps renew me. There are times I literally live for moments like that. Moments like that are what I hope to share.
I'll let you know when it is done.