In honor of my love for the National Parks and the outdoors, I’ll be running a virtual 10k this weekend organized by VRC. There is still time to join me, if you’re up for it. I am usually not a huge fan of virtual races, but the t-shirts + medals are really cool and a portion of the registration fee goes to the National Park Foundation, so it’s almost a no-brainer.
Ugh. I spaced out and didn’t get this post out in a timely manner, but birthdays ought to be celebrated not just on one day, but for at least a whole week. Or, make that a month. Especially if you’re celebrating a centenary, am I right?
So, yesterday was the official 100th birthday of the National Park Service! Happy belated birthday, and thank you for preserving and protecting the beautiful lands and sites of America.
Being a geographer (with strong geologist tendencies), I’ve always loved the National Parks. In 1998 when I was in college, I was lucky enough to participate in a three week excursion through the American Southwest with my geology class. It was a mandatory field trip (the three week trip, not necessarily that destination) but I had no hesitation picking and signing up for the trip through the United States (including a number of National Parks). I had always been fascinated with the United States and their beautiful landscapes. If I didn’t know that I was loving geology then (after all, I was trying to earn a degree in it), I definitely knew it after that trip. What I got to see in those short three weeks was amazing and changed me for the better.
The National Park Service manages 59 National Parks, 123 National Momuments, and 231 other types of protected areas. I’ve only seen a handful really, but hoping to check more off my bucket list in the future.
I MEAN! What do you say??
Landscape Arch – Arches NP
Delicate Arch – Arches NP
Dead Horse Point Overlook – Canyonlands NP
Half Dome – Yosemite NP
Grand Canyon NP
Grand Canyon NP
National Momuments I’ve seen are Basin and Range , California Coastal (why yes, the whole coastal area of California is considered a national monument!), Devils Postpile (simply stunning!), Grand Staircase-Escalante, Montezuma Castle and Muir Woods (although I need to explore that more).
This sketch is truly amazing. I’ve first seen this in my geology class and have been fascinated by it ever since. If you take a closer look (right click and open image in a new tab to see a larger version!), you see a bunch of different National Parks that comprise the Grand Staircase… and it’s called that because from north to south, stepping down through multiple National Parks from Bryce Canyon National Park to the Grand Canyon National Park, it exposes older and older rocks (with the oldest ones exposed on the bottom of the Grand Canyon) in a staircase fashion. SO FREAKIN’ FASCINATING! Sorry, I am having a geek moment here, but seriously, if that doesn’t fascinate you, too, I don’t even know what to say.)
And some more impressions. Because why not.
on top of Devils Postpile, the hexagonal columns exposed.
My three favorite NPs (I can’t just pick one!) so far are Arches, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite NPs, And I haven’t even mentioned other Recreation and Conservation areas with more than stunning sites (let me mention Horseshoe Bend (my favorite!) and Antelope Canyon as two examples).
The ones I want to visit badly are Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier NPs. And I’d really like to see Vermilion Cliffs NM (‘The Wave’) and Devils Tower. Ah, who am I kidding? I want to see them all.
I also would for some odd reason like to see Mount Rushmore sometime. I think it’s that I just cannot imagine that the faces of four US presidents are really sculptured into the granite face of this huge batholith formation. Have you seen it?
There is some truly amazing stuff out there, people!
Which National Park is your favorite? Which one are you dying to visit?