If George Clooney were Yosemite

Peace and freedom in Petrified Forest National Park. Photo: isaacmillerphotography.com

Peace and freedom in Petrified Forest National Park. Photo: isaacmillerphotography.com

During my travels, I've spent time at some of the most stunning – and consequently – most heavily visited places in the world. I came up with the analogy of comparing places to people. For example, George Clooney is Yosemite and Jennifer Aniston is the Matterhorn – all of these famous and mainstream people and places are extremely popular and the most obvious to appreciate. People are lined up to admire them, they wait patiently to "meet" them and gape at their beauty.

A double rainbow in a remote area of Idaho. Who knows if anyone else even saw it?

A double rainbow in a remote area of Idaho. Who knows if anyone else even saw it?

But what about that quiet little campground littered with lakes and trees that we stumble upon off a farm road in Nebraska? Or that unexpected pit stop in the middle of Arizona to experience the quiet enchanting trails of Petrified Forest National Park? When I compare these places to people, I compare them to that friend that is always there for you and makes you feel relaxed and at home. There are no expectations or egos, no pretentiousness. 

At the end of the day, while I still like a good episode of Friends and I definitely won't turn down a trip to Yosemite, I would be lying if I said I would prefer them over a quiet hike with my best friend on a less-traveled trail in Montana.

South Dakota in September? No problem! Open roads galore.

South Dakota in September? No problem! Open roads galore.