Dinosaur National Monument

Happy 105th anniversary to Dinosaur National Monument!

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A few years ago, we planned a vacation to Colorado and we planned on driving from California to Colorado. At the time, our son loved dinosaurs! I mean really loved them and even talked about growing up to become a paleontologist! After some discussions and checking out the routes, we decided to stop by this national monument and check it out.

We really enjoyed this national monument! Our son loved seeing real dinosaur fossils!

From the Quarry Visitor Center, we took a shuttle up to the Quarry Exhibit Hall.

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In this hall, you can see approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones! There are even some places where you can touch them!

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Our future paleontologist loved this national monument! IMG_4997

Beyond the dinosaurs, there is much more to do in the monument. For example, you can check out carvings in the rocks, called petroglyphs, left by the Fremont people nearly 1,000 years ago. You can also take a hike, go camping, go fishing, or watch wildlife like elk or bighorn sheep there.

Definitely check out this national monument if you’re in the Utah or Colorado area.

To celebrate this anniversary or if you can’t wait to visit there, click here and check out their Junior Ranger activity book. 

National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act created the National Trails System back today in 1968.  The Act created national trails to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access.

The Act established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side or connecting trails.

The first two national scenic trails established under the Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails. These two trails cover almost 5,000 miles between the two trails and go through some of our nation’s most beautiful areas.

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Today, the system consists of 30 National Scenic and Historic Trails and over 1,000 National Recreation Trail and two connecting-and-side trails, with a total length of more than 50,000 miles.

I love maps, so had to share one! Click here for a map of all the trails in the system.

To celebrate this 52nd anniversary, go and get out on a trail today!

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Wilderness Act

On this day 56 years ago, Congress established the Wilderness Act in 1964. Congress wanted to protect undeveloped and wild areas as an enduring resource for the American people. Today, this act protects 111 million acres of wilderness preserving more than 750 wilderness areas in states from Alaska to Florida.

This act created the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and immediately designated 54 areas into this system.  Some of the first wilderness areas created included Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming, Ansel Adams Wilderness in California, and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. Today, the National Park Service makes up about 56% of the land under NWPS with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management areas making up the rest.

Many benefits exist today from this land conservation including providing habitats for wildlife; clean air; clean drinking water; boosting local economies with tourism and recreation; and providing some really amazing places to escape and appreciate this great land here!

Go enjoy this anniversary and get out in the wilderness today!

A Day for Poems

Happy Poetry Day!  Poetry Day was founded by William Sieghart in 1994. He is a British philanthropist, entrepreneur, publisher, and founded Forward Prizes for Poetry. 

If you live in the Vermont area, you can check out the Robert Frost Poetry Trail in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. On this trail, you get to read about 15 of his poems while enjoying this area. 

Two of the Robert Frost Poems (stops 1 and 5) along the Robert Frost Poetry Trail

Our national park system is filled with some pretty cool things!  Even poems! 

I’ll leave with you a poem that I wrote many, many years ago. There’s no date on it, but guessing middle or high school.

To celebrate today, write a poem (you can definitely do better than this smile poem!), read a poem, check out a poetry trail, or support your local library.  Happy Poetry Day! 

 

Happy 109th to Devils Postpile!

Happy 109th anniversary to Devils Postpile National Monument established back 1911! This national monument is located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California and cover about 800 acres.

The Postpile serves as the main attraction here and is pretty cool to see in person! Current studies suggest that the Postpile was formed less than 100,000 years ago when a cooling lava flow cracked into multi-sided columns. This formation is a rare sight and towers about 60 feet high!

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You can also check the 101 foot high Rainbow Falls here along with many mountain trails.

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While it’s lesser known than the nearby Yosemite National Park, this national monument is definitely worth a visit!

Make sure to check for information online about it before visiting due to the current pandemic.

Happy anniversary to Devils Postpile National Monument!

Hiking Stick

Since March, we have spent lots of time at home. And spent plenty of time dreaming of hiking and traveling again. To help get excited for future hikes, I made this fun hiking stick.  I have some real hiking poles, but thought it would be a fun activity to paint my own hiking stick.

My kids found this stick in our yard and discarded it for being too big for their project at the time.  I checked out the stick and it was a perfect size for hiking.

This stick was pretty smooth and didn’t need sanding, but some others might need to be sanded. I painted the sections and later sprayed it with a sealer. I opted with a colorful, rainbow look, but you could do any colors and patterns. You could even add stickers, ribbons, or other decorations to make it your own style.

Just thought I’d share a fun (and easy) hiking activity to do at home!

101!

Happy 101 years to the Grand Canyon National Park!

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President Teddy Roosevelt urged Americans to protect this great canyon, “What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”

For more information on this park, check out a previous blog by clicking here.

If you visit Las Vegas or Arizona, take the time and check out this grand national park! Definitely worth the time and journey!

Cheers to 101 years!

Dreaming of…

On this February day, I sit distracted by thinking about bison jams. Yes, I said bison jams.

Last summer, we visited Yellowstone National Park and experienced (more than once) bison jams. If you ever visit this national park (while I highly recommend), you are bound to encounter this unique situation along on the park roads. It is literally what the name suggests – a bison (or many) strolling along the road causing traffic to pause or stop for some time.

These large animals will walk in front of your car, next to the car, or behind your car. They don’t have watches, so do not care about their pace or time of the day. They might play follow the leader or might butt heads. They might pause for a bite to eat next the road. They might even sit down for a nap.

Bison are amazing creatures. One of my favorites! American male bison weigh around 2,000 pounds!  Also, did you know that these huge mammals can run up to 35 mph? I wrote a previous blog about bison last year that you can read here if you’re interested in more bison information.

As I sit at my computer here, I keep picturing those bison jams from last summer. It’s a really amazing experience to have such a mammoth creature stroll by your car.

You can hear them breathe and snort. Our children could not believe these animals surrounded all these cars and just kept on their hike down the road.

I wonder what these animals think seeing all these cars with people inside holding some rectangle gadgets by the windows. I wonder if the bison like the paved roads or miss the entire area being unpaved. I wonder what bison dream about.

Back from my wonderings and dreams, go check out these unique visitor experiences in Yellowstone National Park. Trust me, it will stick with you beyond the moment.

Muir Woods

Happy 112th anniversary to Muir Woods National Monument!

On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Muir Woods National Monument named after conservationist John Muir. Muir Woods became the 7th National Monument and was the first one created from land donated by a private individual.

Muir Woods lies in the middle of the redwood’s latitudinal range that spans from the California/Oregon border to Big Sur, just south of Monterey. And it is quite easy to get to from San Francisco!

Muir Woods is a great place to see some amazing redwood trees, check out the history here, and take in a few hikes! If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend that you check out Muir Woods National Monument!

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