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Exploration continues with shared love of travel

Exploration continues with shared love of travel

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August 21st, 2012

Anita Ream first met Bruce McHenry, then leader of the Linden Ponds National Parks Explorers, shortly after moving to the Hingham, Mass., Erickson Living community in early 2010. He was such a godsend to me, she says. I was retiring from a full-time job in travel; he had spent all his life as a park ranger. We were just two peas in a pod. For more than five years, Bruce led the Explorers, drawing from more than three decades of experience as a park ranger to guide community members through U.S. parks. As the owner of a travel company for 16 years, Anita had organized trips to her native country, Chile, and beyond. Shortly after meeting Bruce, Anita planned the Explorers fall trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was fantastic that I could come here and take on his work and keep on doing what I love to do, Anita says. The trip was a success, but sadly it was Bruce s last before he died the following May. His passion lives on as the Explorers led by Anita, who serves as president; vice president Jim Pettee; treasurer Blossom Hoag; secretary Barbara Boucher; and publicity manager Ron Boucher meet monthly to plan two large trips each year and smaller day trips year-round. This month, ten explorers will visit Utah s Snow Canyon State Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase National Monument, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon, where they will pay tribute to Bruce, who is buried there on a family plot. The trip is arranged by Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), but Anita is doing her part to organize and prepare the group. Though she celebrated 50 years living in the U.S. this year, this will be Anita s first trip to the Midwest. It s a first for me and a first for all who are going, and I m just very excited, she says.

Travel of the heart

The destination may be new for Anita, but travel has been a constant in her life since she left Chile at age 21 to pursue a career in nursing. Travel, to me, has been very close to my heart all of my life. I love to share the places where I have been with other people, she says. Early this year, Anita led a group of six people to Chile, a journey she plans to repeat every January. The Explorers invite guests from other Erickson Living communities and friends and family of those who live at Linden Ponds to join their trips. Upon her move to the U.S., Anita lived in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before settling in an Abington, Mass., condo after her husband died. I was trying to find a niche. Then I found Linden Ponds, which was just the ideal situation for me, she says. Finding Linden Ponds was just the biggest gift that I could have. I miss it as soon as I leave, she adds. I travel a lot, but when I m away I m thinking, Oh, I can t wait to get home, which never happened before. Visit the Linden Ponds National Parks Explorers blog at http://LP-NPE.blogspot.com.

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