Travis Black- March 2020


MARCH 2020

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I’ll always remember hiking Zion with my son. It was really foggy that morning, which hid the peaks from us. As we climbed up and through the fog, we finally saw the peaks. Ryan and I sat down at the very top, and we hardly talked to one another. We just sat there and looked at the scenery around us. It was a spectacular sight. In this newsletter, I’ve written about a few of the vacations and trips I’ve taken in my life, but nothing was as amazing as that particular one. Traveling is something I’ve always loved, and I’ll continue to travel for as long as I possibly can and create even more memories with the people I love. I’ve mentioned before that I’m an avid motorcyclist and enjoy traveling around with my boys, though when they were younger, I was avid about them not riding motorcycles. Still, they ended up getting their licenses, and now the three of us get together and travel whenever we can. Two years ago, we wanted to go on a trip, but it can be hard lining up our schedules because we don’t live very close to one another. (I’m near Sacramento, Ryan is in southern California, and Kent is in Denver.) We were trying to put together a trip for the summer, but neither of them could find the time. Then, Ryan said he had nothing going on in April, but Kent was completely booked. It was a lot earlier than what we’d been thinking, but we wanted to take any chance we could. So, Ryan and I decided to go on a motorcycle trip, just the two of us. He rode his

motorcycle to Sacramento, and we took off headed toward Utah, which was about the only plan we had. I knew I wanted to hit Zion on the trip but was unsure of what else to do or see. On our way to Zion, we stopped by Death Valley, which is one of the most beautiful places you can go to. Many people say it’s not a great place to visit in the summer, and I agree. It’s hot as hell, but in the spring, the valley is filled with flowers, greenery, and not as much smoldering heat. The air was so clear that we could see at an unbelievable distance, and the colors just seemed to pop. The entire time we were there, Ryan was absolutely enthralled. From there, we went through Las Vegas and finally hit Zion, where we spent 3–4 days. The weather was absolutely phenomenal, and we had a lot of opportunities to hike. One hike allowed us to experience that breathtaking view of the peaks. While we were there, I remember sitting at the lodge when I noticed that the flag was at half-staff, and I couldn’t understand why. We asked around and learned that Barbara Bush had just passed away. After we realized this, Ryan and I had a long talk about life and death and how every day is so important because you never know what’s going to happen next. Having that opportunity to have such a deep conversation was a unique experience. After Zion, we visited Bryce National Park and did a lot of hiking there as well. The best part about visiting Bryce in April was that hardly

anyone was there, making it almost like we had the park completely to ourselves. After spending a couple days there, we turned our bikes homeward. It’s not too often that a father gets to spend 8–10 days with one of his kids, and I was lucky enough to have that chance with Ryan. That trip is one of the best ones I’ve ever been on, and I’ll never forget it.

–Travis Black

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