US & Canadian Parks

US & Canadian Parks

  • Mammoth Cave - I had a 13+ hour drive to Savannah.  I could probably have driven straight through but looked at various options for stops en route.  I have an old friend from the Army living in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  I arranged dates and times with her for Saturday night then realized how close she was to Mammoth Cave. I was here as a kid with my family but literally decades ago and I wanted to visit again. I had planned on stopping for...

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  • Olympic - From Bellingham, I drove south on I-5, then took Highway 20 at Burlington to Whidbey Island to get on the ferry at Coupeville.  It really shortens the trip not having to drive south of Seattle then back to the Olympic peninsula.   The ferry lands at Port Townsend and it’s an easy hour drive to Port Angeles and the main visitor center at the park.   I visited with my daughter and son-in-law.   After arriving at the park, we...

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  • North Cascades - After leaving Seattle, I spent the night in Everett, as it was getting late and the weather was turning bad.  Then after a lazy, rainy morning, I drove to the North Cascades.   I don’t recall if I had been here with my family as a kid but thought I should visit.  I was not really feeling excited about the visit, but I was so close, I felt obligated. Fortunately, after a mostly overcast, rainy drive, it cleared off to...

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  • Mount Rainer - I only spent a rainy afternoon in Mount Rainer, pretty much driving through, so don’t have a lot to say about it.    It deserves more time, but I was driving north from Oregon to Bellingham, Washington, and it was essentially a short detour. I got there a bit after noon, paid $30 to enter, then stopped at the Nisqually Ranger Station to get a map of the trails and talk with a ranger.   There are no trails for...

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  • Redwoods - I thought Redwoods was “just” another park in the National Park System, but was surprised to find it’s a combination of 3 California State Parks and a National Park. California created their protection for the redwoods in the 1920s but it took until 1969 for the federal government to create a National Park.   California fortunately acted “early” to protect these forests saving some of these trees, but outside the state parks, 95%, NINETY-FIVE PERCENT, of the trees were logged...

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  • Crater Lake - I was here many, many years ago with my parents and sisters.  I know that from family pictures but really didn’t remember visiting.   I’ve been wanting to return to Crater Lake and Oregon for several years. I made reservations at Mazama Campground on the park grounds before leaving but unfortunately they were cancelled when I was in route.  They are performing hazardous tree removal and it was taking longer than expected. I found another campground just south of Klamath...

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  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison - I returned to Denver in late September 2018 to visit my friends Elizabeth and Lauren.  We decided to go to the Great American Beer Festival again.  We had attended in 2016 and had a great time.  So I drove out to Denver a day early and spent the night with them.  We did the member session from 12-4 at the convention center and stayed downtown for the night.  After all our day-drinking, we returned to Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs.  I...

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