“Next time” seems to be a recurring theme in my travels. “Next time I’ll be more prepared”. “Next time I’ll come back and stay longer”. “Next time I’ll do it differently.”
While it’s fun to think of the possibilities of the future, it’s also frustrating to have what seems like a never ending list of future “Must Visit” places, yet still have places you’d like to make it back to. It can be tough to justify going back to a place you’ve seen before when there’s still so much out there that you haven’t explored at all…
Stanislaus National Forest is one of those places. I only got a fleeting glimpse of its magic while driving through on my way to Bridgeport. But it was so unbearably beautiful at one point that I just stopped the car and started hiking up a hill. I had a hunch that there would be a great view from the top and that hunch turned out to be true. For the next 3 hours, I reclined on the hilltop and waited for the sun to set as I listened to music.
Someday I will make it back to this place and explore its beauty properly. Next time.