In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”
Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?
I was raised in the Midwest with the Mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as the largest bodies of water. I was influenced by the author Mark Twain’s stories of “The adventures of Huckleberry Finn’s,” lazy days along the rivers.
As a child, television and encyclopedia’s provided me with beautiful visuals of the American East and West coast beaches. Yet, it wasn’t until I was in high school when I had the opportunity to view the Atlantic Ocean with my eyes. The sight of the ocean and shoreline sealed my belief, I would one day live near the ocean.
Later in life while working and living in Northern VA, the location provided me the opportunity to live within a one hour drive of the Appalachian Mountain Range and a three hours drive to the Atlantic coast beaches of Ocean City and Virgina Beaches. Over the years, I spent many days & nights camping, hiking, bicycling comparing the mountains and beaches. After five years of visits, I confirmed I would one day live near the ocean in retirement.
Many of my east coast friends identify the Appalachian Mountains as the hills of the East, while the Western US are where the mountains are, and they are right.
My first travels to the Western US was on my motorcycle and I recall vividly as I approached the Rocky Mountains from the East along a two lane road in southern Kansas with a cloudless blue sky. I watched the Rocky Mountains appear beginning as whips of white clouds in the distance to become the majestic overwhelming beauty as I traveled west from Salina KS.
The beauty was so overwhelming I stop several times to visually take in the impressive sights.
However, I was drawn to the beaches and the subtle sounds of the surf lapping against the shoreline providing me peace and tranquility that calms my soul.
I have visited many natural locations within and outside of the US. Yet my mind and soul are easily taken away with the sounds of the surf, the squeaking of shore birds in the morning and the sand between my toes. This moment claims my spirit more than any other colorful site I have seen or visited.