Thursday, August 25, 2016

In honor of the National Park Service 100th birthday today

Zion National Park

Castle Mountain in Banff National Park


Zion National Park OC

Thick, low clouds in Yosemite valley

24 comments:

edutcher said...

Zion's one of The Blonde's favorite places.

Amartel said...

Glacier National Park is my personal fave.
What happened to the guy who used to show up in the comments and rant about how the national parks are racist because black people don't go there? Haven't seen him around in a while.

AprilApple said...

I thought that Banff photo was a photo of the Tetons.
If you've ever driven from Yellowstone down to the Tetons, the angle of the Tetons create that same jagged appearance.

ndspinelli said...

Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands are all great National Parks. We also loved Banff National Park, but it is in Canada!

chickelit said...

Amartel said...
Glacier National Park is my personal fave.
What happened to the guy who used to show up in the comments and rant about how the national parks are racist because black people don't go there? Haven't seen him around in a while.


That would be jimbino. He still shows there. From time-to-time I like to rattle his cage by throwing out a "National Parks are racist" non sequiturd. He always flinches, like he was never obsessed with it.

chickelit said...

I like Volcanoes NP on the Big Island.

AprilApple said...

Actually - Lem, I think the labels are incorrect. The lower photo is Banff.(castle mountain)

The upper photo is the Tetons.

bagoh20 said...

I once hang glided within view of Zion and Bryce - in view from 10,000 ft that is. I was a relatively novice pilot at the time, which I still am despite an advanced rating. The great thing about being a novice at something like that is the excitement rooted in fear and lack of experience that you can rarely get back once you get past it. I never did, making almost all my flights over more than a decade of flying both terrifying and exhilarating. It actually makes being less good at something a better experience.

Anyway, we four-wheel it miles into the desolate desert outside of Hurricane, UT past actual cattle skulls scattered about just like the ones in the movies that are used as icons for scary dry wasteland. We climb up the side of a ancient volcanic peak known as Molly's nipple, because that's exactly what it looks like. (look it up). It was very windy and a fellow pilot had to hold me me down until I was ready. He let go, and I took one step off the cliff and immediately shot skyward like a birthday balloon. I struggled to get control, but was so high so fast that danger of crashing was out of the question - nothing to hit.

It was a glorious flight up and down the ridge thousands of feet above desert gray, artfully annotated by deep green fields of alfalfa in one direction and the incredible postcard views of Zion in the other. I eventually flew a half dozen miles north to land next to the Virgin river as a bunch of us had planned. I had to struggle to dive forcefully enough get my glider down in the strong lift and landed hard in a field right next to the swimming hole filled with friends and cold beer. All were lounging about bathing in a feeling of relief, accomplishment, and camaraderie with an impossible-to-describe feeling of appreciation for both nature and the cleverness of mankind in pursuit of happiness and fun. The next few days we explored Zion and Bryce on foot. An amazing almost foreign environment of grand proportions. Go if you have the chance. Cars also work just fine for this.

Adamsunderground said...

I checked Google maps for an address, and a little ad mentioning this popped up in the corner. It won't be long before this digital, "Eat Your Vegetables," nudging drives me offline completely.

Sixty Grit said...

You know Banff is in Alberta, a province in Canuckistan, right? Who gives a flip about those un-American bastids?

Yosemite is one of my favorites, I thought Yellowstone was too spread out to have the visual impact that one gets in Yosemite, Arches, Bryce, Zion - awesome. Grand Canyon - truly grand, there are plenty of great parks in the Cascades - Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier and so on.

Closer to home we have the Blue Ridge Parkway, I rode my bicycle up Mt. Mitchell, but I see that is not an N.P., so scratch that. Same with Letchworth State Park, the so-called Grand Canyon of the East - that is a beautiful place.

The Great Dismal Swamp is aptly named.

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to visit if you need new boots or a briefcase.

I always like Canyonlands N.P. - speaking of great western sites. And I have spent a lot of time in Death Valley - that is an awesome place - better in the winter than the summer, just sayin'.

There are others that I have visited but can't recall right now - so happy birthday, parks, you look marvelous.

Patrick said...

National parks are one of the few things the government hanger managed to fuck up. Yet. Spent three last ten days in Yellowstone and Tetons. Childhood dream come true.

AprilApple said...

cool story Bags.
Patrick - that's fantastic. Yellowstone is magical.

Lem said...

Thanks for the tip April.

Lem said...

The Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip

This is an updated version I believe.

chickelit said...

Thanks for the link, Lem. I looked at the map and realized that I'd been to a fair number of the NPs. The first one I visited was Mammoth Cave, KY on a family vacation in 1968. That was the closest one to where I actually grew up. Voyageurs and Cuyahoga weren't NPs until quite a bit later.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Sixty is right, Yellowstone is a great place for viewing wildlife, but for vistas it is limited. Get off the loop road for at least some of it.

Glacier is fabulous (and it has all the wildlife Yellowstone has, except the bison--but you get moose and mountain goats).

The Utah and Southwest parks are awesome.

Denali National Park is the size of Massachusetts, with a single gravel 92 mile road. You can ride on free school buses that shuttle back and forth in season.

ndspinelli said...

Utah is one of this countries great secrets. You don't even need to go to the great canyon national parks to see great canyons. Shit, you can pull over on I-70 rest areas and bee awed. Bryce is my favorite. It is just so unique and can look so different w/ different light @ different times of the day, month, year. One of the best deals out there is the senior lifetime National Park pass for $10!

ndspinelli said...

bags, I didn't know you were a hang glider. My uncle in Vermont owns some hunting land on a mountain in West Rutland, VT. He allows hang gliders to jump off a cliff. We often go to the glideport in LaJolla just to drink coffee and watch the gliders. I'm going to do it one day.

ndspinelli said...

Evi, Denali is incredible, as you know. However, we took the 12 hour school bus sojourn. About 4-5 hours too long.

ndspinelli said...

Banff is beautiful but drive the short extra distance to take in Lake Louise. Well worth the effort. Death Valley is on my short list of place to visit.

chickelit said...

Death Valley is on my short list of place to visit.

Me too. Probably camping this winter. It's close enough for a long weekend.

Jim in St Louis said...

Good post, you all have given me a dozen entries for my bucket list. Someday will get to travel out west and see for myself. (I am after all from Missouri)

I guess Mammoth Cave is the best national park I've been to, spoiler alert: no one knows how mammoth it might really be.

Jim in St Louis said...

OT
Grandma drove to California in 1935 cause her brother got her a bookkeeping job at the Santa Rosa ice company. She travelled with two neighbors and their families. She would tell us about crossing the dessert and death valley. We would be fascinated when she described how the sand would ‘creep’ and you could not even tell if you were on the road. Some cars just drove and drove till they ran out of gas and they would be in the middle of nowhere with the sand blowing and creeping up to the wheel hubs.

She would then bring out a mason jar filled to the top with white sand and say to us, “In 1935 I scooped up this sand, and there was only two inches in the jar back then, Now look how much!”
We believed every word.

ndspinelli said...

Jim, You're right. This is a good post. Not one mention of politics.