Wilderness Act

On this day 58 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 nearly 112 million acres of wilderness preserving more than 800 wilderness areas in 44 states.

Denali Wilderness, Denali National Park and Preserve

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!

Fun fact: The smallest wilderness area in the National Wilderness Preservation System is the five and half acres Pelican Island Wilderness in Florida.

Enjoy this anniversary and get out in the wilderness today!

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Happy 106th to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!

On August 1, 1916 the United States Congress adopted a bill to establish a National Park in the Territory of Hawaii. According to the National Park Service, the newly formed Hawaii National Park included the following land areas on Hawaii Island: 1) the Kīlauea Section (35,865 acres); 2) the Mauna Loa Section (17,920 acres); and 3) a strip of land to connect the two aforementioned sections. This Hawaii National Park also included Haleakalā on Maui which became a National Park on August 21, 1961.

In early June this summer, we spent a week on the Big Island, Hawaii, and got to visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

It was so cool to see Kilauea! In 2018, the summit of Kilauea collapsed making the caldera sink. Today, you look (from afar) to see the activity in the crater. Here’s a chart from NPS showing the 2018 caldera collapse.

Credit: NPS

Check out a few photos from our day at this national park. Volcanoes continue to fascinate me!

During the day, you only see smoke coming up.

Day view

At night, you can see the glow from the lava inside it. It’s so beautiful. The photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Night view

At the south side of the national park, you can see former lava flow from previous eruptions along the Chain of Craters Road.

This national park contains such unique sites, hikes, and drives to enjoy! Highly recommend visiting this national park if you’re on the Big Island in Hawaii!

Virtual Tours

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail thanking me for my information about national parks virtual tours as it helped out Amanda and Grace for their “Exploring the World from Home” workshop at the Rutland County Library in Vermont.

In their research, Amanda found a couple of great online resources that I wanted to share:

Take a virtual trip and see some amazing architecture throughout the world through by clicking here. I really like how you can scroll to a particular place and click to check it out.

Take a virtual reality trip by clicking here. On this page, you can time travel through virtual reality. For example, you can step onto the Titanic as it looked like when it left Great Britain.

Thank you to Amanda and Grace for sharing these really interesting online resources! Good luck with your workshop!

I’m going to take a virtual tour now to check out Anne Frank’s house! Happy online traveling!

Crater Lake National Park

Happy 120th anniversary to Crater Lake National Park located in Oregon!

About 7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama erupted creating the deepest lake in the United States and the 9th deepest in the world.  With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the  one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. The water’s intense blue color is an indication of its great depth and purity. Surrounded by cliffs, the lake is fed entirely by rain and snow. Scientists consider Crater Lake to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.

Enjoy a few photos from our last visit there in 2020. As you will see, it was a bit hazy from fires in the area. But, even with the smoke and haze, it’s still a great national park!

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking out this national park as it is one of my favorites!

Grand Canyon National Park

Happy 103 years to the Grand Canyon National Park!

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 amazing park, check out a previous blog by clicking here.

Cheers to 103 years!

5 National Parks Named in Honor of African Americans

Today’s post will highlight five national parks named in honor of African Americans. Click on the links below to learn more about these inspiring sites within our national park system and history.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park – Located in Maryland, this national park honors Harriet Tubman’s bravery and leadership saving and guiding nearly 70 enslaved people to freedom. “When I found that I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything.”~ Harriet Tubman

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site – This national historic site was the home to the “Father of Black History” located in Washington DC. Dr. Carter G. Woodson lived here from 1922 until his death in 1950. Before Dr. Woodson, very little accurate was written about the history about the lives and experiences of Americans of African descent. According to NPS, Dr. Woodson established Negro History Week here in 1926, which we celebrate today as Black History Month.

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument – Located in Ohio, this national monument honors the legendary all-Black U.S. Army units and their leader, Charles Young. Col. Young was a distinguished officer in the U.S. Army, the third African American to graduate from West Point, and the first to achieve the rank of colonel. In addition, he was the first African American to serve as a superintendent of a national park. Buffalo Soldiers were pretty much the first park rangers.

Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument – This national monument in Mississippi is one of the newer national park sites. Their home commemorates the legacies of two civil rights activists who devoted their lives to ending racial injustice against Black Americans through local and national activism.  According to NPS, the assassination of Medgar Evers in 1963 for his efforts to promote racial equality and social justice was one of the key catalysts for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site – This national site in Virginia honors Maggie Lena Walker who devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress.

These are just a few national park sites honoring African Americans in the national park system. Check out these cool and important places!

Photo by NPS

Virtual Resources and Tours

Recently, I received an e-mail thanking me for my information about national parks virtual tours as it helped out Corrine and her Girl Scout troop work on their Arts and Culture Fun Patch.

In their research, Corrine found a couple of great online resources that I wanted to share:

Take a virtual trip through each state and visit a historical landmark, museum, or zoo by clicking here. I really like how you can scroll to a particular state and click to check it out. You’ll even see some national parks on there.

Take a virtual trip around the world and visit aquariums, zoos, national parks, famous landmarks, animals, and more by clicking here. You’ll see some national parks on this page too, but also places like Machu Picchu or Buckingham Palace. 

Thank you to Corrine and her troop for sharing these really interesting online resources! Great job on earning your patch!

I’m going to take a virtual tour now to check out some polar bears in the Artic! Happy online traveling!

Add These 4 US Cities to Your Solopreneur Travel Itinerary

This is a guest post by Amy Collett, creator of bizwell.org.

Photo via Unsplash

Perhaps you’ve recently decided to open your own online business, and now that you can be location-independent, you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad! Maybe posts about the great outdoors and national parks by Kathy Cherry Books inspired your decision. You’re eager to hit the open road and explore everything that the United States has to offer while working from your laptop. But with so many potential destination options, where should you go? As a solopreneur, these cities might spark your interest!

Sacramento, California

Want to establish yourself at a home base where you can explore the beautiful state of California? Consider traveling to Sacramento!

Many digital nomads head straight for the destination with the lowest costs of living, and you might be concerned that Sacramento would be too costly. But compared to other cities in California, accommodations in Sacramento are considered budget-friendly! In fact, the cost of living in Sacramento is 16% lower than the state’s average.

While Sacramento is one of the more affordable major cities in California, it’s safe to say that traveling in the Golden State can get pricey. That’s why using the right apps to find deals is essential! Find rock-bottom flight deals with Fare Compare, save big on hotels with Hotel Tonight, and create expense reports quickly and easily with Concur.

Atlanta, Georgia

If you’re looking for a creative city with a friendly vibe, you’ll definitely want to spend some time in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta is a bustling city that remote workers flock to for its affordable rent, amazing restaurant scene, and connections with lucrative industries. In Atlanta, you’ll be able to meet lots of other entrepreneurs! Plus, Atlanta has easy transport connections to lots of other cities in the southeast and deep south, so if you’re interested in visiting these destinations, Atlanta is a good starting point.

When it comes to finding a rental in Atlanta, Omega Home recommends living “in the perimeter,” so that you won’t get stuck in traffic on the freeway when you’re trying to get around the city. You can also look into the city’s happening co-working spaces in advance and see if you can find a rental nearby! For example, you might want to become a member at Sharedspace or Alkaloid Networks.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is an up-and-coming city where visitors and new residents alike will receive a warm welcome! Digital nomads will be happy to find that once you step out of the downtown neighborhood, known as Golden Triangle, rent prices are quite cheap. Bellhop recommends that remote workers check out the Uptown neighborhood, where there are lots of coworking spaces, including StartupTown.

If you’ve never visited the Pittsburgh area, you might be wondering what kinds of activities you can enjoy in this region. You can spend an afternoon checking out art museums or the local science center, or you can visit Mount Washington for fantastic views of the city.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Are you curious about exploring the amazing desert landscapes of the American southwest? Santa Fe, New Mexico is the perfect gateway to this region of the country. ZeroDown states that the median rent in Santa Fe is about $932 per month, which is quite reasonable. After getting settled in your rental, you’ll probably want to start planning your first adventures in New Mexico! You can check out the incredible desert dunes – you may want to book a guided tour in order to do this safely.

Seeing new places is the best part of being a digital nomad. The US has so many varied landscapes and regional cultures within its borders that you don’t need to go far to find adventure! By stopping in these cities, you’ll be able to make the most of your flexibility as a solopreneur.

Looking for a magical national parks children’s book to give as a gift? Check out Kathy Cherry Books!

Amy Collett is creator of bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday celebrates and honors Martin Luther King, Jr. in America. Today, we take a moment to reflect back on his great life and achievements.

National Park Service sites will have free admission for everyone on Monday, January 17, 2022, as the first fee free day of the year in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

The National Park Service offers opportunities across the country to honor this important person.

In Georgia, there is the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park. In this location, you can walk through his neighborhood of Atlanta where he had his birthplace, home, church, and burial site. 

In Alabama, there’s the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. Here you can retrace the steps of the 1965 Voting Rights March led by Dr. King on this 45-mile long trail.

In Alabama, there is also the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. At this national monument, you can visit places where Dr. King and his fellow activists coordinated for civil rights.

In Washington DC, there’s the Lincoln Memorial. Here you can stand where Dr. King gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech.

Also in Washington DC, you can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The memorial honors Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice.

Take time on this Monday to honor and celebrate this great man. Educate yourself and act.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

White House

Happy 229th anniversary to the White House!

Construction started on this iconic building back 229 years ago in Washington DC. Every President except George Washington has resided here since 1800. The White House stands about 55,000 square feet, six floors, and has 132 rooms.

A few fun facts about the White House:

• John Quincy Adams established the first flower garden.
• There are 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators in the White House.
• It would take 570 gallons of paint to cover the entire outside surface of the White House.
• A swimming pool was added to the White House in 1933 to help polio-stricken Franklin Roosevelt exercise his upper body.  In 1969, Richard Nixon had the pool filled in to create an area for press to gather. Gerald Ford had an outdoor pool built in 1975.
• President Carter had the first computer and laser printer installed in the White House in 1978.
• The White House has a bowling alley, flower shop, dentist office, and carpenter’s office located on site.

Happy 229th!