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Always remember the path back to the important places

Child of mine
come as you grow
in youth you will learn the secret places
the cave behind the waterfall
the arms of the oak that hold you high
the stars so near on a desert ledge
the important places
and as with age you choose your own way
among the many faces of a busy world
may you always remember the path that leads back
back to the important places.

— Dad for Forest, 1986

This short poem inspired the excellent short film above. It’s a poignant re-telling of how the poem inspired a return trip, and it highlights the role that our public lands play in our collective lives. Of how those shared experiences—even ones separated by decades—can help make us feel at home and connected to the ones we care most about. Our important places help us create, and later relive, our cherished memories.

If you haven’t made it back to the important places of your life recently, maybe it’s time to change that.

25¢ pony rides

What do you do when you’re driving a backcountry dirt road near the Mexican border—miles from any city—and you come across an offer you just can’t refuse?

Well, I think we all know the answer to that…

What are National Natural Landmarks?

While perusing a state map, you may have run across an area listed as a National Natural Landmark. There are about 600 such sites spread throughout 48 states and several territories, but not many people understand what these designations mean. After reading this short post, you’ll know more than most. From Wikipedia: The National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Program … Read more

The single best way to save money on travel

Travel can be very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s one simple way to save money on your trips: Camp. Yep, not an earth-shattering secret, I know. But it’s still a powerful way to travel. Not only does it allow you to experience the local environment in a more intimate way, but it allows … Read more

National Conservation Lands: a series of underappreciated destinations

Our National Parks are often—and justly—referred to as crown jewels of our nation’s public lands. They are simply amazing slices of our public lands. But BLM’s National Conservation Lands are among the least heralded and most underappreciated protected landscapes in the country. Many even rival the national parks we love so much. The newest system of … Read more

5 surprising things to carry hiking in the desert

If you’re relatively new to desert hiking, you may be a bit surprised at these five items you’ll routinely see on the trail. Umbrella I bet you’d see more umbrellas hiking in sunny weather on desert trails than when it’s raining. That’s because umbrellas are a great way to provide some portable shade during your hike. They notably make … Read more

How to get your phone ready for your trip

The big trip you’ve waited for all year is nearly here. You finished the big work project just in time so you can relax and unplug while you’re gone. You’ve dialed in the itinerary so you don’t miss out on anything important. You’ve even cajoled your friend into feeding your cat. Now it’s time to get your phone ready. … Read more