BARK Ranger Day

As part of National Park Week, today is Bark Ranger Day. Let’s take a guess what this might mean…..bark….like dogs!

BARK actually stands for:

Bag your pet’s waste

Always wear a leash

Respect wildlife

Know where you can go.

These are four great points to remember when bringing your pet to a national park.

Enjoy a photo of our dog, Evie, at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Earth Day

Earth Day is a global celebration encouraging education and stewardship of the planet’s natural resources.  This year celebrates the 51st anniversary of Earth Day!

Take a moment and go online to learn about how we can protect our only planet. Click here to learn more about earth sciences. Click here to learn about the leave no trace principles at our parks. For kids, become a junior explorer today by clicking here!

Cheers to our planet! Happy National Park Week!

Military Monday

As part of the National Park Week, today is Military Monday. Today, we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of the U.S. military and also discover connections and opportunities within the parks.

The National Park Service preserves and shares the stories of the American military over the last three centuries. The relationship between the national parks and our military goes way back.  The U.S. Cavalry served as the first park rangers at our first national park, Yellowstone National Park. Hundreds of soldiers were stationed at Fort Yellowstone.

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During World War II, many parks served as training and care locations for military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.

As you plan your next trip, discover the people who have protected our freedom here in America and learn about the places that shaped our military history and culture.

To honor today, take a minute and appreciate the the service and sacrifice of our military here.

Cheers to National Park Week!

Day Trip!

Last week, we journeyed to Yosemite National Park for the day. The kids had last week off and we needed a day out in nature! And nature did not disappoint!

We took the kids on four hikes and the lucked out on the last one with no crowds. We started the hike to Mirror Lake around 4pm and owned the trail. It can be hard to get away from people in Yosemite, but staying later paid off!

We had a really great day and loved spending a long day in a national park!

For a recent blog post about Yosemite National Park, click here.

Cherry Blossoms

What do you think about when you hear the words “Cherry Blossoms”? Many Americans picture the amazing trees set in the National Mall area of Washington DC and their beautiful blooms in the Spring.

These beautiful tress are in full bloom here in Northern California and I wanted to share a bit about how these trees ended up in a swampy Washington DC many years ago.

In 1901, Helen “Nellie” Herron Taft traveled to Manila, Philippines where she found a beautiful and inviting landscape along the river park area. In 1909, the First Lady saw potential to make our National Mall area more beautiful and started work on it.

In 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern edge of the Tidal Basin in a simple ceremony and it ended up creating a lasting impact. In fact, the cherry trees as “landscape diplomacy” have symbolized positive Japanese-American relations repeatedly since that first planting.

You can thank a former First Lady the next time you visit Washington DC and see these beautiful trees. Also, this Cherry girl likes their name. 😉

149 Years!

Happy 149th birthday to America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park!

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Check out some of my previous posts about Yellowstone by clicking here and here.  There are more blog posts about Yellowstone on here that you can find by just searching my blog by Yellowstone if you’re looking for more!

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Cheers to 149 years to this first and amazing national park!

Grand Canyon

Happy 102 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 amazing 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 102 years!

Black History National Parks

Today’s post will highlight five national parks that honor black history during this month of Black History Month. Click on the links below to learn more about these important sites within our national park system and history.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Lincoln Memorial

Happy 110th anniversary to the Lincoln Memorial!  The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument built to honor our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. You can find this grand structure in the National Mall opposite the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

This towering monument stands 190 feet long, 120 feet wide, 99 feet tall and constructed with a Colorado-Yule marble. The Lincoln Memorial interior is divided into three chambers (north, south, and central).  The north and south side chambers contain carved inscriptions of President Lincoln’s two most famous speeches, Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address.

Between the north and south chambers contains the statute of President Lincoln sitting in contemplation. The statue, originally intended to be only 10 feet tall, was on further consideration enlarged so that it finally stood 19 feet tall from head to foot.  The scale being such that if President Lincoln were standing he would be 28 feet tall. Above him, you can see another inscription.

If you visit D.C., I highly recommend checking out this majestic national monument. The size, history, and symbolism will stay with you long after your visit here.

Enjoy a couple of photos below from a visit to the Lincoln Memorial several years ago with my sister.

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln

Rocky Mountain National Park

Happy 106th anniversary to Rocky Mountain National Park!

In 1915, Congress created the Rocky Mountain National Park. Named after the mountain range, this mountain range is one of the world’s longest mountain ranges stretching from Alaska down to Mexico.

Rocky Mountain National Park lies in north central Colorado covering 415 square miles. And it is not too far from Denver!

Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to go on some fun hikes, experience the mountains, drive the epic Trail Ridge Road, see wildlife, and enjoy the outdoors. If you’re in this area or looking for a great national park to visit next, I highly recommend that you check out Rocky Mountain National Park.

Enjoy a photo below of me hiking a trail in this national park back in June of 2006.