What if both rich and poor
could spend time out in the open?
What if we could save the forests
for all the children to come?
...with John Muir’s spirit as his guide, Theodore Roosevelt saved more wild land than any president in history.
from: The Camping Trip That Changed America
by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Mordecai Gerstein
I’ve been from sea to shining sea. I have touched the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but I haven’t spent much time between those two.
I know people who have made it their life’s work to visit each National Park, all 58 of them. I don’t know anyone who has achieved this goal, though. It is a lofty goal and I’m sure one of great beauty.
I have visited only two National Parks. All 58 are listed here: https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm
My husband and I went to Everglades National Park in 199? We decided on the three-day pass (after some whining and complaining and finally compromising). We could have stayed much longer.
I learned that alligators can only see straight ahead of themselves. If you ever find yourself being chased by an alligator (I did not), run in a zig-zag. You will lose the alligator and live to tell the tale.
On the trip out West to get our sailboat (see Blog Post from 3/7/16 if you want) we travelled from Ohio across I-80 to Cheyanne WY and turned NW to Washington State. Being in charge of the map gave me (I thought) some leeway. “Oh, let’s go through Yellowstone National Park!” I enthused. “It doesn’t look like it will take us very much out of the way.”
Actually you can travel from the east gate through the park to the west gate. It is only 83 miles. The speed limit is much less than it was on I-80, but no matter.
Old Faithful erupted just as we arrived, so we didn’t lose any time there. We saw lots of other small geysers and were moving west on the narrow road full of campers, tour busses and motor homes until all traffic stopped. Roadwork? Accident? No! Buffalo! A whole herd. A small herd, but still. The papa, a bunch of youngsters, and the mom. Walking right up the middle of the road.
We were in a cargo van (no windows in the back) sitting pretty high, eyeball to eyeball with the papa and the rest as they sauntered past, looking at us. With only a thin window glass between us, I wondered if they were scared or only curious. Once they got off the road, traffic resumed. So we lost a little time. So what.
We are leaving Florida on Thursday. Mammoth Cave is kinda on the way home. I suggested stopping in Kentucky just to see. We probably won’t, though. Maybe next time.
I often wonder what else we are zooming past on our way from here to there and back again.