Last year I spent so much time researching about, saving money for and eventually spending money to book campsites for a month long excursion through the United States. It was a wonderful, approximately 9,000 mile long venture that had my friend and I hopping from national park to national park with a few cities sprinkled in. I had all the greats included, but as we were looking to purchase a used automobile for our journey, we had a little hiccup in the schedule. My lymphoma diagnosis and treatment coincided with the road trip, and unfortunately had to take precedent. It was the biggest bummer of my illness. My mother knew that the cancellation was going to be the biggest let down for me. Right when the radiologist told me at Abington Hospital that he thought it was cancer, my mother grabbed my hand, started crying, and said, “don’t worry, you’ll go on your trip.” I called and told all the National Parks where I had booked campsites at the sad news about my cancellation, promising them that I would return the next year.
Well that time has finally arrived, and this year it’s looking even better than last. I have had more time to plan and speak with my backpacking and traveling consiglieres, my father and my Uncle Pete, who had advised me on where to go and what to see, as well as what to pack. Probably the greatest improvement from last year though is the mode of transportation. My friend is planning on purchasing a new double cab Toyota Tacoma for the excursion.
The trip itself hits all the big national parks and some cities as well. We will see Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the Alamo in San Antonio, the Hoover Dam outside of Las Vegas, and Alcatraz in San Francisco. However, the majority of the trip will be camping. My father has told me only amazing things about these parks, and I will finally behold their glory for myself. We will hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, scale the half dome in Yosemite, see Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone, and step foot on glaciers in Glacier.
I am so excited for this semester to end, and I can hardly wait to leave. The only thing that could stop me is a lymphoma relapse, but I will know sometime in April whether or not that has occurred. Until then I am going to keep it out of mind and trudge on the hopes of leaving in mid May.