Okay, I know what you’re thinking: A poem. Oy.

Do me a favor and read it. Like just try the first fifteen lines or something.

(and yes, I’ve added this to my Family and Vacation Spot Poetry Post)

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Where to Picnic in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Okay, say you’re on your way to Montana
It’s been a long drive
And you want to stretch your legs
And you’ve got a little extra time
And you’ve got your picnic food
And they’ve let you through the gate
It didn’t cost much because your Mom got the Senior Special discount entrance.
Good for the rest of her life
Good for your whole family
Because everyone else gets in free!
So now you’re in.

Here’s my advice:
Eschew The Designated Picnic Area
Eschew it, I say!
It’s a little half open/half wooded spot by the river.
You’re not in this park to see a little half open/half wooded spot by the river.
No.

Drive deeper in.
At the Fork, take a right.
Going on the south side of the loop.
Keep an eye out for Prairie Dogs and Buffalo

Do you have a map?
Do you see where it says “Ridgeline Trail?”
Go there.
It’s a wide spot in the road. Park There.

Okay, here’s the hard part.
Once you have your food in hand,
Head up the trail.
It is quite steep
But only for three minutes.
And at the top is a bench.
It’s a pretty good place for a picnic.
Better than most.
But don’t stop there.
No.

The Ridgeline trail heads south and a little west.
Don’t follow it.
Yet.

Head to the left of the trail.
Make your way to the edge of the “Ridge”
It’s just sixty seconds, I promise.
And there, lay your picnic blanket
Watch out for cacti.
And you may want to keep young children in hand.
It might be a bit of a tumble if they stepped too far.
In that spot,
You will have a vista that allows miles of vision.
Look.
Wonder.
Praise God.

And that high distant spot off to the right that the trail heads to?
It isn’t that distant.
And not that high.
Take the trail.
Ten minutes tops and you’re there.
You will experience wonder again.
Wonder you would have missed if you’d stayed at the bench.
Or the designated picnic spot.

Sometime the difference between pretty good and amazing is just one minute’s walk.

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