College is just another life chapter, but it truly is a fast read. I can remember freshman year spring break as if it were yesterday. I have now set the best trip for last, a road trip to three national parks where my friends and I will camp for the next week. I will be camping at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
A journey like this requires extensive objective, strategic and tactical planning. Our one and only goal is to have an amazing time. That should be the goal of everyone’s vacations. This trip is all about time management. The way you travel the country by car is to set a specific time you will reach a destination. We depart on a Friday morning with our first objective being to arrive at our first destination, Rocky Mountain National Park by Saturday afternoon. When traveling to different states, we need to make sure we are up and ready on a traveling day. Colorado to Northwest Wyoming and from there to South Dakota are all drives that take up the entire day. We must make it a priority to reach a campsite before sunset. None of us have been on a trip like this, so the process of completing our objectives will feel like a coin toss for me.
Road trips can change your plans whether you want them to or not. When plans do change, you must be strategically prepared. We expect to experience snowfall issues when we get closer to Yellowstone, so we need to locate an entrance that is not snowed in. These moves could possibly prevent us from seeing certain attractions, but we need to stay on course if we are not going to get lost. Our strategy is to be ready when the journey does not go as planned. We are trying to camp on our own instead of joining strangers at a camp site. We will be equipped with the proper tools to be out in the unknown wilderness. If we are strategically prepared then our objectives can be completed.
While driving, we have to take into consideration where we are going to fill up gas. I have not taken a look at the road atlas, but I do imagine there will be interstate travel where we will not see an exit for 50 plus miles. We cannot get caught in one of these “middle of nowhere” places on a quarter tank of fuel. We are tactically making the decision of filling up every time we reach a quarter tank. My friends like to drive on fumes, so changing their perspective will be a tough tactic in itself.
Anything can happen on an exploration like this. It is important to stay on schedule, plan for the worst and think ahead of what could prevent us from going. The only way to see if our trip was a success is to agree with each other and reflect on all the pictures we take. Hopefully, all goes well.