National Parks

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Martin Hash
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National Parks

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:24 pm

Having already met our goal of traveling the world, my wife, Gwynne, and I have turned our eyes to the U.S., particularly the 61 National Parks. Gwynne & I often discussed how travel in the U.S. has changed since we were kids: Mom & Dad no longer pile the kids in the back of the station wagon and drive 3 hours to a National Park. Nowadays, kids are only vaguely aware there are National Parks, and can't name one. Of course, our age has something to do with it; it's possible that every American in their 60s has a motorhome, wants a motorhome, or has had a motorhome to go to all the National Parks, but we're skipping right to the parks without a motorhome; drive where we want, when we want without making reservations, and make it our goal to spend the night in the cheapest motel that's within an hour of the park we plan to visit.

Let me explain how care- and fancy-free attitude works in practice: there are 9 National Parks in California; I considered several logical routes that could hit all of them, or 2 separate routes, one down the coast and the other down the Eastern border. I even put both of them on my calendar though it was laborious and the dates weren't certain. However, while we were in California visiting Gwynne's uncle, she said, “let's visit Yosemite.”
“Okay, Yosemite it is,” I replied, anxious to go.
“But first let's go visit Sam and Robyn in San Jose,” she added.
“That's exactly the wrong direction,” I said, perplexed, but I was still game.
But just after leaving Sam & Robyn's house for Yosemite, we saw a sign to Pinnacles National Park, and we went there; no questions asked. Yosemite was the next day, then Death Valley the day after that, and Sequoia the after that; you get the picture.

National Parks Passport.jpg

In the end, we did 6 National Parks within half-a-day's drive of each other, and they were all awesome. The best thing; what got me to say “yes” to the whole obviously multi-year endeavor, is putting stamps into my National Parks Passport that my aunt had gotten me for my birthday some years ago. Not only that, but I also bought a token at each place that went into a cool little token case. Getting the stamps and tokens entices my obsessive nature; Gwynne says, “You'd be happy just driving into the park, getting your book stamped, and leaving.”
Yep.

Token Album.jpg
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