Before my husband and I had kids we went on a couple epic road trips to visit several national parks. During two specific summers our trips lasted an entire month. First we did a loop through national parks in the southwest, returning by making our way up through California and Oregon. The second time our trip started north in Canada, after which we ended up in Montana and Wyoming. The highlight of that trip was our six day backpacking trek through the Grand Tetons. What a blessing to be able to witness first-hand the beauty of the land from some pretty majestic and wild mountains.
No matter what park we were at we always planned out our stay at our given location, squeezing in as many of the hikes as we could. Some were easy walks of a mile or two. Many were a lot longer and a lot steeper.
Often we would notice that the shorter, easier hikes were super crowded. They weren’t quite as satisfying either, when we reached the destination. But as the hikes got longer and steeper the crowds thinned out. The end goals required more grit and exertion but the view was usually ten times more beautiful. We jokingly deemed ourselves “view snobs” because after doing more steep climbs the easy ones just didn’t even compare to the beauty up high.
We’ve all heard the words “if it was easy everyone would be doing it”. Honestly a lot of people miss out on the best views because they’re not willing to do uncomfortable stuff. Or they might start out, but stop climbing as soon as things get tough.
Friends, don’t choose the easy one-miler with the crowds, dirty bathrooms and mediocre end result. Don’t settle. Choose the steep, rugged climb. Heck, maybe you’re not even climbing by choice but life has you on the steep, rocky path anyway. Keep your eyes up and appreciate the beauty one step at a time. That climb will be the most rewarding. You WILL get to the top, and you’ll do so with deeper gratitude and greater strength.