Raise your plastic, utilitarian glass of boxed wine and toast with me to a magnificent birthday! (Maybe you opt for champagne in the parks, but I stick to the more eco-friendly and easier to carry boxed option.) Happy 100th Birthday National Parks!
The history of the parks is incredible. We should thank our lucky stars for men like John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson for their support of our country’s biggest treasure. There are many more to thank, but as opposed to recreating the entire saga here, I’ll highly recommend Ken Burn’s documentary The National Parks, America’s Best Idea for the history lesson. Buy the entire set. Watch it start to finish on a gloomy weekend. Get inspired. Watch it over and over when you get sick. It’s also great background noise for napping after you’ve seen it a time or two.
I love our parks. As a child, I wanted to be a park ranger when I grew up. I envisioned days of chatting with folks from all over about the wonders of nature. I also dreamed of long breaks where I could sit in the solitude of the phone booth-sized fee collection station and read novels; I was a nerdy kid. As an adult, I dream of being a park ranger when I grow up.
Quick shout out to an amazing friend who had the moxie to fulfill his childhood dream of visiting all 59 parks. Check it out, 59in59.
Not sure what my total park count is, but there are many, many more I’m dying to visit.
Next park to visit: Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Dream visit: Denali
Curiosity visit: Dry Tortugas