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59 national parks

Stormy Kromer Hats Rock

Stormy Kromer Hats Rock

I don’t wear a hat.  Why not?  As I’ve pointed out on social media, I have thick luxurious hair.  I’m vain.  Plus the darn things never fit my big head.  Occasionally I’ll pull on a stocking cap.  It has to be pretty cold for me to do so.  Still my friend Adam Noll (@ThatOutdoorGuy) on Twitter suggested that I would enjoy the quality, fit and warmth of a Stormy Kromer hat.  He was right. Stormy Kromer hats rock! Continue reading

59 national parks

Updating Our National Park Book

Updating Our National Park Book

I’ve come to understand why successful authors are fulltime writers.  Writing a book is a fulltime job.  Both Shelly and I already have careers which consume more than forty hours of our week.  No worries though.  Our book is about our passion. When I get the chance to write, i do so with enthusiasm.  Still, the pressures of adulthood have made writing time a precious commodity. Continue reading

#Arch@Arch Photo

#Arch2Arch By The Numbers

#Arch2Arch By The Numbers

#Arch@Arch was a family vacation.  Jeff Howell (@MissouriHowell on Twitter) and I welcomed this.   His kids Kate and Rex were going with us.  Families take their children to National Parks.  Such trips make memories.  A family vacation with children is way to cultivate respect and even love all things wild.  We wanted them to be engaged and interested during this turn-and-burn adventure to celebrate the Centennial of the National Parks This photo suggests they were.

#Arch2Arch2

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59 national parks

Cheers to the Switchback Kids

Cheers to the Switchback Kids

In July 2014 we received an email from a young man named Cole Donelson.   He said that he and his wife Elizabeth were planning a year long trip to all 59 of the National Parks.  He expressed a bit of surprise that someone was already on such a journey–especially someone from their hometown of Kansas City.  He asked us if we would like to meet them to share a few ideas.  We agreed, but were a bit skeptical.  We had already been traveling the National Parks for three months.  We learned quickly how challenging the travel was and how expensive such a trip is.  We were also aware of a dozen or so people that had attempted to do such a trip and had flamed out along the way.  We first met Cole and Elizabeth at a coffee shop in Parkville, Missouri. Continue reading

59 national parks

Isn’t That Wonderful?

Isn’t That Wonderful?

In many ways, the #Arch2Arch adventure with Jeff Howell (@MissouriHowell on Twitter) was much like our 59 National Park journey.  We saw a number of incredible things in a short period of time. We went to the top of an Arch.  We turned and burned from one camp site to another.  We met a number of terrific people from the Director of Wyoming State Parks to an amazing Custer, South Dakota family to a friendly couple that managed a campground.  We saw a grizzly bear munching on a bison in the Yellowstone River.  We made a number of unscheduled stops at fascinating and scenic places.  Isn’t that wonderful? Continue reading

59 national parks

Are All National Parks Worth Return Visits?

Are All National Parks Worth Return Visits?

Let us say upfront that we would return to any of the 59 National Parks if the circumstances were right.  All of them are special.  All of them have unique things to see and do.  All of them are an important part of our heritage and deserve to be protected for future generations.  With that said, our circumstances have changed. Never again will we attempt a year long sprint to see all of anything.  It is an expensive and exhausting enterprise.  It was also worth every bit of the effort we made to do so.  Are all of the National Parks worth return visits?  For us at least, the answer is no.  Continue reading

59 national parks

#NPS100RoadTrip, The Itinerary

#NPS100RoadTrip, The Itinerary

When I look at the list below it seems daunting.  Our short four day trip to Nebraska for the 100th birthday of the National Park Service evolved quickly to an impossibly  ambitious nine day, twelve site road trip.  We are visiting four big states too–out west.  We estimate our #NPS100RoadTrip will require at least 3000 miles of driving.  With kids. Continue reading

59 national parks

Road Tripping the National Park Service Centennial

Editor’s Note: Shelly, AKA Mrs. 59 National Parks, is spending the Centennial of the National Park Service at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.  More on her trip coming soon.

Road Tripping the National Park Service Centennial

I knew that I would be spending August 25th at a National Park Service site.  August 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the Service.  It is an important date in both the history and the future of our Parks.  I wanted to be a part of the celebration.  My plan was to spend a day to enjoy a Park and write a blog on my thoughts about what the future holds for the Service.  I only had to figure out where. Continue reading