Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Did You Know?

Sarasota, FL       High:   85    Low:  65

It's National Park Week, April 20-28th. Free admission to your national parks from April 22-April 26th. It's been awhile since we've been in a national park. There are 401 parks coast to coast, so most people are not too far from being able to visit one.

After almost three years of traveling this beautiful country, we wanted to share our absolutely favorite national parks of the ones we have visited....We haven't seen a lot of them, like the Drevlow family the park service posted on Facebook this week, who has visited more than 200 national parks and earned 1,696 junior ranger badges!  But here are the ones that stand out in our minds....
Deer Brook Bridge, Acadia National Park
1.) Acadia National Park...Mt. Desert Island, Maine....We spent seven weeks in the Bar Harbor area last summer. It was fabulous. Sparky rode many of Acadia's carriage roads on her bike, got lost on some, and repeated rides on others, they were so beautiful. With all the wonderful stone architecture that's there, it's one of the most interesting parks and "classic" national parks, we think.....It's all about 20th century visions for future generations, and it's hand hewn stone bridges are spectacular!

2.) Yellowstone National Park....the world's largest collection of geysers and America's first national park established in 1987...We loved Yellowstone's rainbow colored pools of hot water and microscopic plant life that give the pools their colors....

3.) Yosemite National Park...waterfalls, waterfalls waterfalls! And hiking, hiking, hiking!

4.) The Everglades....

In addition, we've been to Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park (with the famous Red Bus Tour), the Grand Tetons (moose!), the Badlands, Mammoth Cave National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Olympia National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sequoia National Park, Gulf Islands Seashore National Park, and the Everglades National Park (gators on the sidewalk bike trail at Shark Valley!) When we look back at our blogs and photos, thinking about all these places, we've amazed at the diversity within our country and amazed that we saw all these! 
Did you know…America’s national parks include more than:
  • 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic landmarks and cultural treasures
  • 17,000 miles of trails
  • 43,000 miles of shoreline
  • 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures
  • 100 million museum items
  • 12,000 campsites
This country is a pretty spectacular place to explore some amazing geology, history, and culture. We hope that if you are thinking about RVing and traveling, you'll make it a reality! In case you want to know where all the parks are, here's a handy dandy chart of the parks in the U.S.
StateNational ParkYear Established
Alaska (8)Denali1917
Gates of the Arctic1980
Glacier Bay1980
Kenai Fjords1980
Kobuk Valley1980
Lake Clark1980
Wrangell - St. Elias1980
American SamoaAmerican Samoa1988
Arizona (3)Grand Canyon1919
Petrified Forest1962
ArkansasHot Springs1921
California (8)Channel Islands1980
Death Valley1994
Joshua Tree1994
Kings Canyon1940
Lassen Volcanic1916
Colorado (4)Black Canyon of the Gunnison1999
Great Sand Dunes2004
Mesa Verde1906
Rocky Mountain1915
Florida (3)Biscayne1980
Dry Tortugas1992
Hawaii (2)Haleakala1916
Hawaii Volcanoes1916
KentuckyMammoth Cave1941
MichiganIsle Royale1940
Montana (2)Glacier1910
NevadaGreat Basin1986
New MexicoCarlsbad Caverns1930
North CarolinaGreat Smoky Mountains1934
North DakotaTheodore Roosevelt1978
OhioCuyahoga Valley2000
OregonCrater Lake1902
South CarolinaCongaree2003
South Dakota (2)Badlands1978
Wind Cave1903
TennesseeGreat Smoky Mountains1934
Texas (2)Big Bend1944
Guadalupe Mountains1966
U.S. Virgin IslandsVirgin Islands1956
Utah (5)Arches1971
Bryce Canyon1928
Capitol Reef1971
Washington (3)Mount Rainier1899
North Cascades1968
Wyoming (2)Grand Teton1929
And here's a cute story from the National Park Service FB page, one of their favorite letters from a young, impressionable future conservationist, maybe?

Here's a great story from Yosemite!
The rangers that answer the phone and mail in our public information office receive a lot of letters, but this might be one of the best in recent years.

(Text of the letter:
Dear Park Rangers
I am a Yosemite Junior Ranger. I went to Yosemite recently and accidentally brought home two sticks.
I know I'm not supposed to take things from the park, so I am sending them back. Please put them in nature.

Thank you,

Happy National Park Week! and happy, safe travels to you, wherever you are!


  1. So much to see in this great country, and our lifestyle can make seeing it possible.

  2. We're way behind on visiting National Parks, but at least we've been to all three in Florida!

    It sounds like maybe you're getting hitch itch?

  3. Great blog. Thanks for the chart. I didn't know MN and MI had a National Park.

    Love the letter.

  4. Great post Jeannie. Love those National Parks!! Sure would love to get to those ones in Alaska. Where did you find that National park Chart. I'd love to have that.

  5. really great. . .we want to see them all!

  6. Cute letter with the sticks ;) We will be visiting Yosemite from 5/6-5/13! I love, love, love Yosemite. George has never been there. George has the wonderful Senior pass, so we get into all the national parks for free!

  7. Good reminder to make a chart and starting checking them off. We have been to many, but I haven't been keeping track. I heard one of your favorites, Acadia, isn't opening until late May because of sequestration. I hope the cutbacks don't take a toll on our national treasures.

  8. As soon as my husband turned 62 he got his free senior pass and we're having fun visited as many as we can and having our passport books stamped along the way. Our favorite so far is Zion in Utah. But each park is unique. I just read something about the possibility of charging seniors for their lifetime pass due to the National Park debt situation, any one else hear about this?