My, What High Peaks You Have!

Andia WinslowNPF Blog

In October 2015, I traveled with the National Park Foundation’s Find Your Park Expedition to explore some of our nation's greatest gems. Inspired by my experience on the expedition and previous national park moments, I present you with “My, What High Peaks You Have!”


East, South, West, North

The West Coast is the Best Coast

Or is it?

That’s what I thought until I saw Maine. Acadia National

Crisp Air. Vivid Colors. Refreshing, absolute.  

I can’t even

I cannot

Oh, Maine. Not the state, but like, you know, “man”

Like they say it down South. In Florida. “Mayne”

Which reminds me, have you been to the Everglades?


This one time we drove through Everglades National Park at dusk

The swamp is trip and a half, I’ll tell you

Perfectly eerie. Like a movie you’d watch in IMAX 

Every detail, alive and consuming you

Just the thought of gators underfoot. 

The hair most definitely stands to attention on the back of your neck

Makes you think, who were those people? 

Those that cleared the land

What must they have endured?

The sounds, the smells

You’re drenched in knowing — and in sweat

But that doesn’t compare to the dry heat of the desert in August

Like being in grandma’s kitchen, in summer, with the convection oven doors wide open

You want to find reprieve but...





The smell is too sweet, what’s baking is too magically crafted

With love sprinkled on top

But then she’s flips it. And reverses it

The cake that’s baking, of course

And you peer down into the depths of cake like you’re standing on the ledge of Arizona’s Grand Canyon

I wonder, how far would a baseball travel if you bun(d)ted it from the top?

You know that feeling when you’re with your people?

Your team. Your #SquadGoals

No urgency. 

Y’all are sitting down with the specific intention of chillin’

And then, of course — because I struggle to sit still for more than 15 minutes at a time,
I say:

“Come on, let’s go for a walk!” Really excited like because, walks 


So we spar in words. Playing the dozens

Taking it all the way back to seventh grade 

They say, “Sit your skinny butt down. Be still, woman” 

But I pester, “Let’s go, let’s go!”

And then they start throwing pebbles 

No they start throwing stones 

I weave and dodge as though stealing bases

But finally, Homerun! Y’all are on the march

Well, first the drive. A mini road trip from Seattle right into Paradise

No for real, the town is called Paradise

Want to know why?

Of course you do. 

Well, many, many

many, many, many years ago 

This lady named Mary was struck by the immense beauty of Mount Rainier

Of the views

Of the scale

Of the wildflowers

And she said, “Oh, what paradise!”

And it was so.  

Side bar, the mountain’s original name is Mt. Tahoma

Let us always remember that. 

It’s my favorite. It’s irresistible, especially at sunrise

Now here’s a little something that needs to be heard

Heeeeeere we go

Once upon a time, not long ago

I woke up in Colorado. Mesa Verde National Park at dark.

Alarm jostled me just before sunrise

Enough time to insert contacts into dry eyes.

“I can’t see good” without them.

The morning before, I watched sunrise from the lodge deck

But on this day

On this day, I wanted to see it

Well, experience it, on the ground

Shhhh! The show is starting!

Ooooohhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhhh! 

Colors so strong and simultaneously so delicate

Look at the views!

Is this ROY G BIV? 



Yellow. Green. 


My favorite!

Wait, I lost count. 

Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.

This is ROY G BIV

This is ROY G mother flocking BIV

"Look at the views!" I shouted, to the dismay of That Mule Deer Over There.

Look at the views

Man, I’m going to get so many views 

Snap Chat.


Facebook. Pinterest.  Periscope. Google+. LinkedIN. Now This. Burn This. 


Tumblr, tumblr, we’ve got a tumbler

I didn’t see that there loose impediment

Rock on

Down I go, but hands up, I got the shot!

And then the ROY G BIV sky said to me, Slick Rick style, “don’t cry, dry your eyes” 

But I wasn’t crying because I was feeling blue

I cried because I was feeling the blue.

Every park has a story to tell

And so do you

Get out there and #FindYourPark.


Andia Winslow participated in the National Park Foundation’s 2015 Find Your Park Expedition. A Yale alumna and founder of The Fit Cycle, she is also a professional golfer, master certified fitness professional/sports performance coach, and on-air TV personality. You can follow Andia's adventures and connect with her on her websiteTwitter, Instagram, Snapchat using AndiaWinslow, FacebookYouTubePinterest , Google+LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Periscope using @AndiaWinslow. 

Photo credit: Casey Schreiner

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