Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy 100 Years to the National Park Service

Grand Canyon
Despite not posting frequent updates, I do give a bit of thought to this blog and also the experiences I have documented and hope/plan to document some day. I've been very fortunate to have visited so many places and I revisit those experiences through pictures, discussing my travels with friends, and reading/hearing about others' experiences and often comparing them to my own.

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Muir Wood
When I travel, I like to visit big cities and small towns, natural wonders and quiet parks, and I will incorporate any and all into my trips. But I cannot imagine traveling the United States without taking advantage of one or more (hopefully many more) visits to our nation's national parks. Truly one of the best things the United States has to offer is the National Park Service which oversees many parks, monuments, historic sites, etc. all over the United States. From Yellowstone's geysers to the gigantic gash in the Earth that is the Grand Canyon to San Francisco's Golden Gate, to the swamps of the Everglades, to mountains and rainforests, to the Revolutionary War battlefield just a few miles east of my hometown (plug for the Saratoga National Historical Park, done!), the National Park Service, celebrating 100 years today (and all this year), offers something for everyone at little or no charge.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, White House ruins
Petrified Forest
I've written about some of my park experiences before, like getting trapped in Yosemite during forest fires, but I have a lot more to share. Today, though, I'd just like to say thank you to the park service for existing, to the visionaries like John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt who knew that protecting these places was important, and to everyone who keeps them going today from rangers, other employees, and volunteers, to President Obama, for designating new parks, protecting lands for their natural and historical significance.

I'm lucky that my parents took me and my brother to visit so many parks all over the country during our family vacations; those trips stay with me and have helped me explore further. And a special shout-out to my father for volunteering each summer at Black Canyon of the Gunnison, I'm putting a visit
next year as one of my goals.

So, please explore our national parks. Remember that they're there for everyone, that they're important and need to be protected, and know that you will gain so much from any experience you have with them.

"Do nothing to mar its grandeur for the ages have been at work on it and man cannot improve it. Keep it for your children, your children's children, and all who come after you."
Theodore Roosevelt

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