05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Parks We All Own

by Diana McCollum

Now that my husband and I are retired and on a fixed income, we have to  plan our vacations closer to home.

I would like to visit every National Park in America. This probably won't happen because I would need a lot of money and time to do it.

Right now my favorite place is the last park we visited, Glacier National Park. We had never been to Montana where the park is located. What a beautiful state!

I took this picture in Glacier Park 2014
The Blackfeet Tribal name for Glacier National Park is "Backbone of the world". One can see where they got that idea as the Mountains rise up so high and steep. There are alpine meadows, pristine forests, and streams and rivers.

In August when we were there, hundreds of wild flowers bloomed in every meadow we stopped at. The white patches in this photo are some of the remaining Glaciers. They are disappearing a little more each year.

We saw two bears and Mountain goats, deer, all kinds of birds. It was beautiful! And it belongs to all of America. If you go to the official Glacier Park website there are all kinds of videos so you can see the spectacular park for yourself. There's even a video of the "Going-to-the-sun-road"!

I took this picture on "Going-to-the-sun-road"

"Going-to-the-sun-road" is 50 miles of steep, windy and very narrow road. The views are some of the most spectacular I've ever seen.

If you are retired, you can buy a life time pass for our National parks. When we bought ours, it was ten dollars. Ten dollars gets you in to some of the most beautiful and pristine places in America, for the rest of your life! That is a great bargain!

It's always a good idea to check the parks website for weather reports before you visit Glacier, as there can still be snow in July.

Have you visited any of America's National Parks? If yes, what was your favorite?


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Beautiful photos, Diana. Our national parks are one of our best legacies.

Kristin Hanson Gonzalez said...

Have you watched the documentary series by Ken Burns about the National Park System? It is great.

I have two personal favorites: Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and Haleakala in Hawaii because my husband and I have personal connections to each. Mark worked in TRNP as a college kid and then did his master's thesis on the geology of this park. Later on he worked for the ND Geological survey and wrote "the book" on the geology of this amazing place. It's available in the gift shop at he visitor's center. We have spent so many memorable hours with our kids camping in this park. I can't count how many times we need to retreat to the camper to escape the bison rumbling through the camp ground!

I love Haleakala because I worked there after college. Nothing tops a sunrise from the crater rim!

Paty Jager said...

Those are great photos, Diana! And what a wonderful trip!

This is a park I want to see and we plan to get there soon. My cousin now lives not too far from there which is even more incentive. I have to say the only National Park I've been to is Yellowstone. We drove through it twice when we took our daughter to College in Torrington, WY and when we picked her up. But I want to visit as many as I can when Hubby and I visit all the states. ;)

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks Lynn! I snapped those two photos with my cell phone! I didn't get as good of a picture with my regular camera.

Kristin, thanks for stopping by! Wow, what incredible experiences you and your husband have had. Very impressive that he wrote the geology book on the park.

Paty, i know you and Garrett will make it to the parks one day. When do you start on your first 'semi-retired' trip?

Sarah Raplee said...

Our National Parks, Monuments, and wildlife refuges are an amzing part of our American heritage!

We have visited Yosemite in California, Joshua Tree in Arizona,and numerous National wildlife refuges. I'd love to visit more! Love your photos!

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks Sarah!

Judith Ashley said...

The National Park I've visited the most is the Grand Canyon, probably followed by Crater Lake and then Yellowstone. My favorite time to visit the Grand Canyon is in winter when there are fewer tourists and you can actually find a quiet place to sit and meditate while looking out over the ever-changing view. I used to live in Klamath Falls and it was an easy drive to the rim.

Interesting that your cell phone took better pictures than your actual camera!

Maggie Lynch said...

I was very fortunate as a child. Coming from a big family, we couldn't afford to stay in hotels so all of our vacations were at national parks and tent camping. I've also lived in several places in the U.S. which put me close to places. I think I've seen 26 of the 58 national parks, so not quite half. It's really hard to pick a favorite because each one has amazing beauty.

Wonderful pics and description, Dianna. Next time you go north, definitely hit Wyoming for Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

I agree with Kristen about the sunrise from Haleakala as being spectacular. But then there is so much that is spectacular in the Hawaiian Islands, including their own little Grand Canyon (Waimea) on Kauai. I also agree with those who have been to Yellowstone and the Big Grand Canyon in Arizona. Both of those would be on my list of favorites.

I think for all around variety, my favorite park would be Yosemite in California--large granite mountains, waterfalls galore, diverse meadows, giant sequoias, and pristine lakes. I could spend months there and not see it all. Another place I would choose just because it is so different are the variety of parks in Southern Utah. Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Arches are all unique to the high desert landscape.

Now ya'll have me wanting to take a year off and travel to all 58 and explore. Thanks for sharing!