Let’s Go!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see an island again. I dream about sandy beaches and waves coming in and out. I dream about the salty air. I dream about the clear, blue skies. I dream about the warm breeze.

Well, I decided to take this dream and go virtual! It’s not 2020 anymore, but we still can’t travel yet. So, here I go. Come with me! I’m traveling to the Virgin Islands National Park! Virtually!

Did you know that 2/3 of the St. John Island of the Virgin Islands is a national park? Virgin Islands National Park is more than just beautiful beaches. You can hike to plantation ruins to learn about a time when sugar dominated the island or visit the ancient petroglyphs carved by the Taino Indians. This area has a lot of interesting history here.

Click on this link and let’s check it out!

NPS Photo/Susanna Pershern

Enjoy your journey with me virtually to the Virgin Islands National Park! Hope it gave you a feeling of escape for a few minutes. I know that I needed it!

Happy New Year!

May your 2021 be as amazing as these places!

Crater Lake National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Sequoia National Park

As 2020 closes, I am very grateful for many things! In particular, I really appreciate your following this blog! Thank you!

Happy New Year! Cheers to 2021!

Nation’s Christmas Tree

President Calvin Coolidge designated the General Grant in Kings Canyon National Park as the Nation’s Christmas Tree on April 28, 1926 after a little girl exclaimed, “what a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!” back in 1924 while looking up at it.

Colonel John White, longtime Park Superintendent, expressed the feeling that brings people here year after year, “We are gathered here around a tree that is worthy of representing the spirit of America on Christmas Day. That spirit is best expressed in the plain things of life, the love of the family circle, the simple life of the out-of-doors. The tree is a pillar that is a testimony that things of the spirit transcend those of the flesh.”

May this special spirit be with you these holidays!

Yosemite turns 130!

Happy 130th 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! As of now, you need reservations to visit here, so make sure to check out their website.

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National Public Lands Day

We celebrate National Public Lands Day today organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Established in 1994 and celebrated the fourth Saturday in September, this day is traditionally the largest volunteer day celebrating the connection between the environment and people.

To participate this year, visit a national park for free, share an outdoor activity online, donate to a national park or organization, or just get outdoors wherever you can!

Enjoy the benefits of being outdoors!

130th!

Happy 130th 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. 

We visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park a few weeks ago and loved spending some quality time in both national parks. Enjoy a few photos from Sequoia National Park.

If you plan on visiting this national park soon, make sure to check it out online due to the neighboring wildfire and COVID-19. I highly recommend visiting this national park, but make sure to follow the guidelines and closures.

John Muir reflected that giant sequoia groves are “not like places, they are like haunts.”

Happy 130th, Sequoia National Park!

104!

Check out who’s turning 104 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!

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A Map!

Check out a new map here I made of national park service units that I have visited over the years. When you hover it, you will see the name of the site and years visited. You can also click on the dot to link to the specific national park service’s website for more information on that particular park.

I can’t wait to add more dots to the map! 🙂 You can find this map on the main page of this blog under a tab at any time. Enjoy exploring!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured out of town for a few days and visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Given this trip was plan B for our summer vacation, it turned out really great!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon sit south of Yosemite National Park in California in the southern Sierra Nevadas. Sequoia is America’s second national park created in 1890.

In Sequoia National Park, the kids opted to check out General Sherman as our first adventure in the park. General Sherman stands as the earth’s largest tree in volume of total wood. It is 275 feet tall with a circumference of 103 feet. Its trunk weighs an estimated 1,385 tons! It’s also estimated to be 2,200 years old! Every year, General Sherman grows enough new wood to produce a 60 foot tall tree of usual size.

Over in Kings Canyon National Park, we checked out General Grant.

While these parks have the amazing giant trees, these two parks also showcase other diverse parts of nature. Enjoy a few photos of other parts of these parks:

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We really enjoyed our time here! We did miss going to the visitor centers and listening to ranger talks, but the kids still learned new things and completed their junior ranger books that we printed out at home before our trip. 

While most people drive on through these two parks in one day, you can easily spend multiple days here and enjoy the variety of landscapes and trails here. I’d highly recommend checking out these two parks if you’re in the area!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir

Great American Outdoors Act

Yay!!! Great news!

Yesterday, the President signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. This measure guarantees maximum annual funding for a federal program to acquire and preserve land for public use.

This will drastically improve access to trails and public lands to conserve the places we all love to hike and address the long overdue maintenance needs that have resulted in trail closures at our National Parks, Forests, Refuges, and other public lands.

Two examples of many high priority deferred maintenance projects include:
– The Grand Loop and entrance roads at Yellowstone National Park are inadequate for current visitor needs. More than half of the park’s $586 million maintenance backlog is needed for long-overdue road repairs.
– The aging buildings at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Georgia have $12 million in maintenance needs, including repair work at the Ebenezer Baptist Church where the late civil rights leader preached and where his funeral was held.

Two examples of many high priority conservation needs include:
– 470 acres of scenic, culturally significant lands at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, including two parcels sacred to the Huna Tlingit people and one island parcel surrounded by marine wilderness with potential for camping, fishing, wildlife watching and other recreational pursuits.
– 153 acres at Big South Fork National Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee that represent the most threatened tracts of land within the park. These lands provide refuge for a variety of threatened and endangered species and are especially vulnerable to development if not acquired through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

This new law will definitely help our public lands here!

Enjoy a moment of some pretty great news!
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