The first time I went to Yellowstone National Park, I cried.
No, I wasn’t a toddler, a moody teenager or in any sort of danger. I cried solely on the fact that I was back amongst trees and roaming on land minimally influenced by man. To put it plainly, I love the earth.
On May 15, Yellowstone National Park posted on their twitter account that there is over 900 miles of hiking trails throughout the park and gave helpful tips for when it comes time for a hike.
Just roughly an hour and a half away are miles and miles of land at our fingertips.
Although, with such accessibility to see and use the national parks that are offered so close to us— here in a small college town that “apparently” has nothing —we are too blinded by the fact that if you have to drive more than 20 minutes, it is not worth it.
Yellowstone National Park released that their opening visitation for the year is 12 percent lower than it was last year at this time, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
During my time here in Rexburg, far too often I hear the phrase “I hate Rexburg” Or more famously, “There is nothing to do around here.”
That is where you are wrong.
During my first semester, I didn’t get out much. I was stuck with getting my earth fix by walking to Porter Park or staring at the vast stretches of fields in front of the Rexburg temple.
What I didn’t realize was that in under an hour, I could make it to either “R” Mountain, Packsaddle Lake, Cress Creek Nature Trail or Mesa Falls.
And not only at a stones throw do we have easy, fun and beautiful hikes, but we also have at least three national parks in under two and a half hours from Rexburg.
So what makes Rexburg so terrible that you just “can’t even”?
Is it really because it is such a small town with nothing to do? That there aren’t buildings toppling over each other? That the traffic isn’t worse? That there isn’t enough people?
What we need to do is stop being lazy. We need to realize not everything is going to be just a block away. We need to get out there and see the world.
Out of the 59 national parks in the country, just a drive away is the sixth and eighth most popular national parks.
These national parks are where people all over the world travel to see, but what are we doing? Sitting and complaining how it is too far away? Not a valid excuse.
We need to take advantage of the earth that surrounds us. We need to reconnect with the trees and mountains and get out in the sun.
Not only is being outside great to look at, there is also many health benefits from just going outside for 15 minutes a day.
According to healthline.com, going outside and getting 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands and face three times a week is enough to feel the effects of vitamin D from the sun.
Let’s go outside, let’s appreciate and take advantage of where we live for this short time, let’s go where there is no Wi-Fi and enjoy the beauty around us.
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”