For twenty-five-plus years, I was a professional, career-minded adult who impatiently ignored and moved past stressful events, circumstances, and daily bumps in the road of life with a shoulder shrug, made due at the time, and continued forward.
This past summer, I was leisurely enjoying my time along forest trails in Northwest Minnesota, backpacking and day hiking within old-growth forests and restored prairies, surrounded by dark green canopies of trees.
Whenever I returned to my RV and civilization, I noticed the repetitive emails from Camping World, RV, reminding me that my full-time home, which I nicknamed Foxy, pictured above, needed to be examined for warranty work before my October purchase anniversary.
I know it would take two weeks or two months to complete the RV repairs. In July, I begrudgingly made the appointment, thus ending my spiritual moments of summer backpacking, day hiking, and absorbing nature’s beauty.
”It was August 4th when I drove away from““Foxy,” leaving her parked at the Camping World in Wentzville, MO, hoping for its release in about two weeks. But, my optimistic thoughts wore thin as the weeks expanded past two while staying with family nearby.“It was August 4th when I drove away from “Foxy,” leaving her parked at the Camping World in Wentzville, MO, hoping for its release in about two weeks. But, my optimistic thoughts wore thin as the weeks expanded past two while staying with family nearby.
But, after two or three days, my nomadic spirit longed for the forested sounds of winds rustling leaves and the morning songbirds tweeting, soothing my mind and soul deep within a peaceful old-growth forest of Northwestern Minnesota.
I suffered through nature-coordinated high humidity, matching the midwest summer heatwave temperatures, providing me with an oppressive and stifling experience, becoming unbearable to sit comfortably in my sister’s backyard surrounded by trees.
So, most evenings after the sun dropped below the horizon, I scratched my wandering itch, driving towards the nearby Mississippi & Missouri Rivers with the car windows down to hear and feel the winds swirling inside, soaking in the smells of nature’s aroma with the croaking sounds of frogs in the summer night humidity somehow eased my lounging for a forested campground.
Sensing my uneasiness, my sister & brother-in-law suggested I visit the nearby Audubon Center at Riverland in West Alton, MO. I toured the Riverland Audubon Center several times, capturing images of waterfowl and insects.
The volunteers at the Audubon Center at the Riverlands facility recommended I tour the Two Rivers Wildlife Refuge, thirty miles north along the Illinois River. The Audubon Center volunteers suggested I also visit the Two Rivers Wildlife Refuge, thirty miles north between the Missouri and Illinois Rivers. The Refuge was established in 1958 to protect and enhance habitat for migratory birds. Located between the Mississippi River and Illinois Rivers, encompassing 9,225 acres of riverine and floodplain habitat scattered around the confluence of the rivers.
I discovered a peacefulness that explodes with several thousand migratory birds occupying the Refuge for several weeks on their migratory journeys in the spring and fall. The height of the fall viewing is between October 16 and December 31, and It is located along the significant Mississippi Flyway, a route for migratory birds, affording visitors an excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, hunting, fishing, and paddling.
The fall provides fifteen different species of ducks and up to 200 species of birds. I’m considering returning to wander the Refuge, capturing images of the thousands of migratory birds, because nature slows down my thoughts, soothes my soul, and quiets my longing for movement while patiently accepting my circumstances and any predicaments.
While I patiently awaited my RV repairs and missed my home, I recognized how abundant nature is wherever I travel. I also reflected upon how my current time mirrored my twelve-year-old self as a restless, petulant child, wanting something I must patiently await.
Over my years of discipline and sacrifice, I developed a sincere appreciation of patience while maintaining my childlike curiosity to explore, learn, discover, gain knowledge, to write about my destination experiences surrounded by the magnificence of nature.