The Unexpected Yellowstone Trip

yellowstone 1


One year, my children and some friends got together for New Year’s Eve. As an activity for the night, we planned to assist the children in writing and sketching goals for the upcoming year. On one side of the paper they were to write their top five goals for the year. We instructed them to write them in full sentences.

On the other side they were to draw their goals. We weren’t entering an art contest and we weren’t worried about how lovely their posters turned out. We just wanted them to enjoy the experience of dreaming and using their creativity.

Five months later as I helped my then ten-year-old son clean his room, I found his poster under a pile of toys and clothes. It had been trampled on and forgotten. Or had it? As I looked at the goals he had set that year, four out of five of his goals had already been met. He had hit a home run along with other exciting things any ten-year-old might dream about.

There was one goal yet to be met, “Visit Yellowstone.” I thought about that goal and wondered how it would be achieved. We truly had no plans for a trip there.

Within 30 days the next year’s schedule came for classes at his school. Included on the schedule was a class called “Yellowstone.” I thought of how fun that would be for my son and how delighted he would be to be in that class.

As I discussed the upcoming Yellowstone class with the teacher, she shared with me how they had applied to attend a weekend class in Yellowstone. If selected, we would stay in cabins in Yellowstone and be accompanied by two rangers for the entire weekend. They would conduct classes and tours that would educate the children regarding Yellowstone’s formation, wildlife, forestry, and history.

My son enjoyed the school’s on-site class that year regarding Yellowstone. We waited patiently to hear if his school had been chosen to attend the class in Yellowstone. To our pleasant surprise, it was!

Yet, that was far from the biggest surprise.

The trip was scheduled for October. Usually by that time in Yellowstone, snow covers the beautiful national park. Not this year! This year, the fall leaves were still on many trees, the temperature was in the 60s all weekend, and the wildlife was still out and active.

We had the opportunity to visit places not normally accessible during that time of year due to snow and cold. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. We visited places in Yellowstone that we wouldn’t have known about without the benefit of our ranger. Had we gone as a family, the price of a private tour with a full time ranger would never have been in our budget.

As we sat by the campfire on the last night and talked about our fondest memory, mine was of the dream of visiting Yellowstone over eighteen months prior to the trip and how the power of setting goals and the law of attraction worked. I felt so blessed to have a son who dares to dream big and sets no limitations on his goals. I was in awe that not only had his goal been fulfilled, but the expectations of that trip had been fulfilled far beyond our wildest dreams!

Michelle Withers

%d bloggers like this: