A Place in the Mountains

For a few weeks now I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a piece of property in the mountains.  Not much, really, just enough to pitch a tent or build a rustic cabin.  An acre or two would probably do it.  But have you priced mountain property lately?  It’s expensive!  I didn’t see how I would be able to buy more than a few square feet.

Still, the mountains have been calling me and so, on my day off this week, I got on Interstate 64 and drove west, all the way to Shenandoah National Park.  The ranger at the entrance told me I could pay $15 for the day or $30 for an annual pass, and that’s when it hit me: I couldn’t afford to buy a piece of property in the mountains but for $30 I could go anytime I wanted, drive on beautiful Skyline Drive, hike to the top of a mountain, have lunch later at one of the lodges.  In other words, for $30 I could have a place in the mountains, a place I will never have to worry about or maintain.

In his classic book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster says that one of the keys to simplicity is resisting the temptation to own.  He suggests that we go to the library instead of the bookstore, rent a cottage at the beach instead of buying one.  I think he would say the $30 I spent on an annual pass to Shenandoah National Park was a good investment because now, even though I don’t own it, I have a place in the mountains, and as you can tell from this picture I took…the views are incredible!

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