Giving Thanks For ‘The Best Idea We Ever Had’

By Michael Lanza

From Lookout Point, along the North Rim Trail in Yellowstone National Park, you gaze down hundreds of feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, with its crumbling walls of golden, gray, and cream-colored rock and patches of evergreens framing the roaring river. Just upstream, 308-foot-tall Lower Yellowstone Falls explodes through a notch in the cliffs, sending a plume of water and mist shooting into the canyon. Every time I see it, as I did again earlier this fall, I feel the same sense of awe that I felt the first time I saw this view.

Big more than that, I think about the foresight behind the creation of America’s national parks—what the writer Wallace Stegner called “the best idea we ever had”—including the first one, Yellowstone. That’s one of the many things I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving day.

As you start thinking about your next big adventure—and creating an experience to make yourself thankful next year—see all of my stories about national park adventures and my All Trips page at The Big Outside, as well as these stories that may offer some ideas and inspiration:

5 Great Adventures to Take in 2016

New Year Inspiration: My Top 10 Adventure Trips

My Top 10 Family Adventures

15 Adventures on Earth That Will Change Your Life

Tent Flap With a View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

And my ever-popular “10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

I invite you to subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box at the top of the left sidebar, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar or below. Thank you for your support.

The Big Outside is proud to partner with sponsor Osprey Packs. Please help support my blog by liking and following my sponsors on Facebook and other social media and telling them you appreciate their support for The Big Outside.


Looking For Reviews of the Best Gear? Look Here

Ask Me: Can You Recommend Rafting Outfitters and Trips?


Leave a Comment

4 thoughts on “Giving Thanks For ‘The Best Idea We Ever Had’”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Michael! Hope you and your family enjoy the holiday weekend.

    Thank you for posting your stories and gear reviews.

    Pocatello, Idaho