Grizzly Bears 🐻

While I love a number of animals, I wanted to briefly highlight one of my favorites today. And one that I am hoping hoping hoping to get a glimpse of on our next trip to Yellowstone National Park. I am talking about grizzly bears. Good job if you read the title to this blog post and guessed it! πŸ˜‰

Today, grizzly bears only live in western Canada and northwestern United States.Β  Grizzlies once roamed North America from Mexico on up to Alaska and from California across to the Great Plains. Grizzlies gained protection in 1975 by getting listed on the Endangered Species Act.

These massive animals are a subspecies of the brown bear. Grizzlies weigh around 700 pounds and on their hind legs can stand about 8 feet tall. That’s huge! Yet, about 75% of their diet comes from berries. That’s a lot of berries every day to keep these big bears happy!Β  In addition to their grand size, their color ranges from very light tan to dark brown. They have a very large shoulder hump and extremely long claws.

Grizzlies surprise many people with their agility and speed as well as with their intelligence. Grizzlies can run up to 40 mph! In addition, grizzlies have a strong intellect and solid memory!

Did you know that the mama grizzlies give birth during hibernation? I cannot imagine giving birth in a winter den! They are some strong females! And these mamas fiercely protect their cubs! I know that many mothers out there can relate to fiercely protecting our children. I definitely channel my inner grizzly at times!

Humans stand as the main predator of grizzlies. These very intelligent and unique animals play a huge role in our ecosystem and deserve to stick around for our future generations.Β  I love that our national parks provide a safe place for these beautiful animals (as well as many other animals)! And I’m crossing my fingers to see one (at a safe distance) during our next trip to Yellowstone National Park!

For lots more information on grizzly bears, click here.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Recently, we visited Chicago and Indiana to see family and show the kids some fun there. During this trip, we visited a national park! And we got see a newly designated one!

Indiana Dunes National Park sits along the southern shore of Lake Michigan in northwestern Indiana. This national lakeshore became a national park as of February this year.

We checked out the visitor center first and our kids become junior rangers there! As I’ve mentioned, you definitely need to check out the junior ranger activities at our national parks! Great way to get the kids involved and learn something!

At the center, we read up on the park, watched the short history film, and even bought our youngest a junior ranger vest and hat. 😍

I love learning cool facts about the park like the fact that Lake Michigan took form 11,000 years ago when the Wisconsin glacier began to melt.

We headed to the shoreline and parked by the Kemil Road Access Point. We enjoyed seeing the lake and let the two kids skip some rocks.

We had to drive over and check out the park’s most dynamic dune, Mount Baldy. Mount Baldy stands 126 feet tall. To see this powerful dune, you need to take a short, fun trail to reach the beach from the parking area. It’s a fun little hike!

If you’re in the Chicago or Indiana area, check out our 61st national park and the first national Park in Indiana.

Day for Dads

Literature shares us with so many wonderful stories and people. We have met a number of pretty cool fathers in fiction over the years.Β  Here are a few of them:

  • Bob Cratchit, A Christmas Carol
  • Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Otto Frank, Diary of Anne Frank
  • Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
  • Gerald O’Hara, Gone with the Wind
  • Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter series
  • King Lear, King Lear
  • Horton, Horton Hatches the Egg

Many other awesome dads exist out there in fiction.Β  What other fictional fathers should we add to this list here?

Cheers to all the real dads out there today! Hopefully you get some time to read a great book today! Happy Father’s Day!

Bring a Friend πŸ°πŸ‘£β€οΈ

A few weeks ago, our daughter brought Bunny along on a hike. This weekend, Lilly, a purple stuffed bunny, joined us. And Lilly got to ride a Barbie scooter in the air! Pretty lucky stuffed animal! Woody and Buzz would be jealous!

Pre-children, I would have laughed seeing a purple bunny on a scooter out on a hike.

Now, it seems normal. And it makes a hike so much more fun for a 7 year old! She loved bringing her friend along for our 3 mile hike!

“Mommy, take lots of pictures of Lilly!” So, I did! It made me smile too!

Bring a friend and enjoy a hike! πŸ°πŸ‘£And enjoy a smile! 😍

P.S. It’s also a great way to celebrate a birthday!

National Trails Day πŸ‘£

Happy National Trails Day today!  Today kicks off the Great Outdoors Month of June!

Did you know that there are over 18,000 miles of trails in the national park system? And did you know that there are 158,000 miles of trails in national forests and grasslands? So, we have lots of trails to explore in the United States!

Enjoy this day and month and find a trail to enjoy!  Happy National Trails Day! πŸ‘£β˜€οΈ

Muir Woods