White House

Happy 227th anniversary to the White House!

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Construction started on this iconic building back 227 years ago in Washington DC. Every President since John Adams has lived in it 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.

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Happy anniversary to the White House!

Dinosaur National Monument

Happy 104th 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. 

 

Happy 129th to Yosemite!

Happy 129th anniversary to Yosemite National Park!

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In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation creating the nation’s third national park. The establishment of Yosemite National Park preserved over 1,500 square miles of land.

Yosemite National Park is located in central California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Yosemite ignites many images when you say its name. It’s hard not to picture the iconic Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. You can also find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

This park has some cool history facts here too. For one, America’s first female park ranger in the National Park Service came from Yosemite National Park. I highlighted Clare Marie Hodges in this blog post here.

Yosemite has a long history with junior rangers. It had a Junior Nature School that was organized in June 1930 and went until 1954. Could you pass a 1933 junior ranger test?  The national park service has one on their website. Try it here.

Definitely put Yosemite National Park on your bucket list of places to visit and check out the cool landscapes and history at this national park!

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Sequoia National Park

Happy 129th anniversary to Sequoia National Park! On this day, President Harrison signed legislation creating America’s second national park. It was the first national park created to protect the giant sequoia trees from logging.  In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt added the Kings Canyon National Park to Sequoia to have these national parks operate jointly.

We visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park about eight years ago. Enjoy a few photos from our visit there.

The Ash Mountain Entrance:

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Tunnel Rock (original granite tunnel was built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and this narrow passageway was the only route through until the highway was widened in 1997. You can still walk underneath or on top of the rock if you can hike up it):

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Giant Forest (large sequoia grove):

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General Sherman (largest living sequoia tree standing about 275 feet tall):

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John Muir reflected that giant sequoia groves are “not like places, they are like haunts.”  Happy 129th, Sequoia National Park!

Teton Anniversary

At the end of July, our family journeyed to the Grand Teton National Park to celebrate our 15th anniversary where we got married!

We loved seeing this special national park again and also sharing it with our two kids.

Steve and I got married in the Chapel of Transfiguration in the national park. This rustic chapel was constructed in 1925. We love this little, lodgepole pine chapel with that amazing window framing the Teton Range!

Enjoy some photos of our visit to the chapel. ❤️

Definitely stop by this beautiful and historic chapel if you’re in the Grand Teton National Park!

P.S. More vacation posts coming!

Wilderness Act

On this day 55 years ago, Congress established the Wilderness Act. 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.

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!

 

103!

Check out who’s turning 103 years old! The National Park Service!

President Woodrow Wilson created the national park service (NPS) back on August 25, 1916.

The act stated that the NPS “is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Pick a park to visit and celebrate this important birthday of these amazing treasures!