Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
The year proved to be very difficult for my family. It started off with such promise. With vaccines, we anticipated gathering with our family again and finally travelling somewhere outside the tristate area. Then, my little dog Lily got cancer. We canceled a trip we planned to take with the dogs so that we could focus on keeping her as comfortable as possible. Home cooking and steroids kept her tail wagging for two more months, but then it was time to let her go. It wrecked me.
A month later, we were en route to the National Parks Traveler Convention in Washington DC. The convention had been rescheduled from 2020 due to Covid. We had tours of many NPS sites lined up to make up for a year of no new park visits. We made it as far as Delaware before we got the call that my Dad had passed away. I miss sharing this blog with him…he was my biggest fan.
Life over the following months was a series of funerals as we said goodbye to my best friend’s husband and my dear Uncle Chris. I became a caregiver, obsessed with doctor’s visits and diagnoses. For the final act, 2021 brought my family Covid and we quarantined over the holidays.
In spite of all the heartache of 2021, I realize that we are blessed. We are fortunate to have ever had so much to lose. I was lucky to be raised by a kind, intelligent man who taught me to value history and love nature. So lucky to have my family and friends as the best support system. Graced to live near enough cultural treasures to continue publishing a travel blog after two years of minimal travel.
Top 10 2021➤
Because of the above disruptions, most of this year’s popular posts are in the New York/New Jersey area. And one of them was the tribute to my Dad. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments on that one…it means a lot.
- Ringwood State Park: Shepherd Lake
- Ausable Chasm
- New York Public Library
- The Appalachian Trail
- Croton Gorge
- Bear Mountain State Park
- The US Capitol Building
- See you on the other side, Dad
- South Cape May Ospreys Return
- Capitol Reef: Temple of the Sun
Thanks for following and best wishes for a happier and healthy New Year!
29 thoughts on “2021 Retrospective”
Thank you for sharing so much beauty through such difficult times, and best wishes for brighter days ahead in 2022 ☺️
Thanks so much for your kind words. Happy New Year to you!
I am sorry 2021 brought you such loss, T. Your ability to reflect during such times is admirable.
Thanks VJ. I guess the one gift of the pandemic is that there has been more time to reflect.
I’m so sorry to hear of all the blows 2021 dealt you and hopefully everything will be better for everyone in 2022. I always enjoy your blogs and count you as one of my “internet “ friends. Take care, my friend.
Thanks Marlene! That means a lot 🙂
Wow, what a cruel year of losses… My sincere condolences. _()_
Thank you for persisting with your blog despite it all! You bring the outdoors inside for all of us who don’t travel. :- )
Thanks, Bill! 🙂
I am sorry to hear of your 2021 losses-made more hurtful by the Covid isolation. I have experienced that sometimes they come in clusters. Lucky us to be immersed in the beauty of nature which brings peace. Or as a favorite quotation expresses more eloquently:
“In the midst of the complexities of modern life, with all its pressures, the spirit of man needs to refresh itself by communion with unspoiled nature. In such surroundings- occasional as our visits may be- we can achieve that kind of physical and spiritual renewal that comes alone from the wonder of the natural world.”
― Laurance S. Rockefeller
Thank you! I hope we can all move beyond the pandemic in 2022
So sorry for your losses in 2021. Take heed of Teddy Roosevelt’s words to John Muir after the death of Muir’s wife in 1905:
“Get out among the mountains and the trees, friend, as soon as you can. They will do more for you than either man or woman could.”
Thanks and those are some good words. I will get out as soon as I am released from my covid exile 😀
Very sorry to hear of your losses. Wishing you a much happier new year, whether it’s at home or on the road.
Thanks Ken. I hope so too. Happy new year to you and your family 💖
My thoughts are with you for all your personal losses.
All the best, most of all good health, for 2022: may it be a blessed year,
Thanks Pit! Hope you have a wonderful new year
I am sorry for such a year of loss and challenges. I appreciate your blogs and your love of travel. May 2022 bring you many adventures, much fulfillment and beauty.
Thanks Kate, for your kind words. Much happiness to you in 2022!
Thanks! And FYI…my name is Katelon…..same as what is on my blog 🙂
Cute dog! It has been a rough.
Thanks! Yes it has…
I’m sorry for your losses in 2021. As you may know from my blog, I lost my dad when he was 54 and he was an inspiration. Losing a parent is never easy, but your tribute to him keeps the memory going – and you will find there will be more. I hope that 2022 gets us out of this mess and you can start going on road trips to out of state parks and I can start visiting bars and breweries again. Have a wonderful year T.
Thanks, Don! 54 is so young 🙁 Yes, hopefully it will be a better year. Happy New Year!
As you can see by my latest blog, I know what it is like to lose your dad. It will be eight years for me. I find that dedicating my sites to him made me feel like he was still with me along for the walk. Sometimes for a split second, I still see him walking beside me. My condolences to you and your family on your losses.
If you ever need any assistance in caregiving, especially in New Jersey, please check out my sister site on WordPress.com, BergenCountyCaregiver.com. I set this site up after my father passed to help other caregivers with programs and tips to make the experience better and have all the information in one place.
Some suggestions to visit in the winter and early Spring is the Mills Mansion in Statsburgh, NY near Rhinebeck, which is resuming tours, the grounds of Wilderstein right down the road and check out the Friday the 13th and Blairstown Museums in Blairstown, NJ where the original film was shot. It is an interesting museum if you are a fun of the film.
Again my best to you and your family.
Justin Watrel, Blogger
Thanks Justin. I’ve been meaning to get up to that Mills mansion. Not much time for exploring these days, I’m afraid
I’m sorry to hear about such a difficult year. Thank you for continuing to share on this blog despite all the challenges.
Thanks 😊 Glad you enjoy the blog. Things are improving, slowly but surely.
So sorry for the hardships and losses you went through in 2021 T. I recall saying at the end of 2020 that 2021 would be better, but it was not. We are now long distance caregivers to a stubborn senior parent and in 2022 (also not such a hot year), we continue to assist and watch out for our children (1 brain injury and 2 Covids before the new year was very old). Despite this, we maintain hope for better times. Stay well and stay hopeful. 🤗🤗Allan
Hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Caregiving is still hard, even now that she’s safely ensconced in a beautiful memory care nearby. But definitely not the nightmare of wondering and dread when she was trying to live alone. Hope you find a way to bring your stubborn parent closer and into a safer situation. Sorry to hear about the brain injury…best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.