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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?

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Perhaps the most fulfilling thing to me about our trip was my interaction with the Howell kids–Rex and Kate.  They put up with a lot from us.  We averaged more that 400 miles a day.  We heard “are we there yet”? frequently.  We camped six days in row with a few nights in the cold Wyoming summer.  Only ate out at a sit down restaurant once.  Our devices worked only intermittently.  With all of that Rex and Kate showed determination for the quest and patience with our wanderings. I’m grateful that they were along with us.  Wonderful, right?

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Of course, the Parks were amazing, especially given that we were celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service.  We explored eleven National Parks  sites, several state parks and numerous historical sites.  We saw Old Faithful erupt, gazed at the most scenic overlook in Nebraska at Scottsbluff, and slept under the stars at Devils Tower.  We fully examined the Oregon and Pony Express Trails.  We soaked at slid at the world’s largest mineral hot springs at Thermopolis, Wyoming.  We cut and enjoyed a special birthday cake to celebrate the Centennial.  Just wonderful, huh?

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I don’t want to get too mushy, but strengthening my friendship with Jeff was wonderful too.  I am not certain if we will ever do something this crazy again, but we might.  If not, we have lots of Missouri State Parks to explore.  I’m ready if he is.

Over the next several weeks we will recount more specific adventures from #Arch2Arch.  We will also share a few thoughts on the National Park Service–its value to our country and a look at what the future may hold our Parks.  Stay tuned for some “wonderful” blogs.

Don

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