National Park joy

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Re: National Park joy

Post by Wondering on Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:16 pm

I tend to not talk as much about my National Parks trips and what I learned from them as I'd like because I think I bore people with my stories. Perhaps I over-corrected. Grin

The mom of this year's litter was one of the puppies we saw when we were at Denali.

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Re: National Park joy

Post by eselle28 on Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:16 pm

Puppies!  Lovestruck Lovestruck Lovestruck

National parks are pretty awesome in my opinion. I always felt grateful to grow up close to Teddy Roosevelt and within a short vacation trip of Glacier, which I consider to be a lovely treasure that hasn't yet gotten too packed.

Denali sounds amazing.
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National Park joy

Post by Wondering on Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:39 pm

Denali is indeed amazing (as is Glacier!). We actually drove there. Well, ferried/drove there and drove back. So, if you want tips, I can give them.

One tip is not to expect to see the mountain unless you stay a few days because it's so often overcast. We didn't get to see it the day we actually took the 13-hour bus tour of the park, but we did see it the day before on the drive up from Anchorage.

Another tip, if you're going to make your way to Alaska to see Denali, I also highly recommend Glacier Bay and taking the park-affiliated boat tour of it. Did you know that when George Vancouver sailed the northwest coast in the 1700s, Glacier Bay didn't exist? The glacier was all the way down to what's now the mouth of the bay.

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Re: National Park joy

Post by reboot on Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:33 am

Despite growing up in UT, I did not get to start going to national parks until I was in late high school and college, when my friends had cars. I did get to go to Bryce and Capitol Reef then. Zion, Glacier, and Great Basin are on my bucket list, to name a few

I did not know that about Glacier Bay. That is wild! When did the bay become open water
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Re: National Park joy

Post by Wondering on Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:41 pm

The glacier's slowly been receding. So I think it was starting to recede when Vancouver sailed past there. And when John Muir toured by boat in the 1800s, it was receded about halfway up the current bay. But in the 1600s, there was no bay. It was a valley that some Athabascan tribes lived in. So it's super recent glacial geography, and also quite a hotbed of biological study to see how fast an area can grow plants from nothing and animal species can populate. In the 1960s, it had receded up past the border into Canada, and the Canadians were thinking of putting a port town there. (Which, I'm not sure how that would have worked through a US National Park. It's not international waters.) But now it's grown south a bit and is in the US again.

I've not been to any of the Utah parks or Great Basin. That was going to be our roadtrip a couple years ago, but then I had a bump in my belly that changed all our plans. Smile

What did you think of Capitol Reef? From photos, it looks kind of alien and barren with lots of jagged rocks. But photos aren't always a good measure of a park's features.

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Re: National Park joy

Post by reboot on Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:28 pm

Capitol Reef is really cool. It is very stark and otherworldly. You get the beautiful contrasts with the color of the rocks and the sky. Then, where there is green, you get the contrast with it and the rocks



(not my picture, although I wish it was!)

I find that kind of terrain beautiful, but I kind of have a thing for stark and barren landscapes. For example, I thought Afghanistan was beautiful. YMMV
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Re: National Park joy

Post by Wondering on Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:22 am

Oh, that is nice! The photos I saw were all like this the one at the top of the NP page here:
https://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm
Which looks like a giant flying saucer crash landed there eons ago.

And yay horses. This city girl has always had a stereotypical little girl crush on horses. One of the things I liked best about Theodore Roosevelt NP was that it had wild horses. Wild horses!

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Re: National Park joy

Post by reboot on Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:49 am

Jeez, that really is not the best picture, is it? And I feel the same about horses. Even though they are a domestic species, they make me think wild and free when I see them.

I went to Grand Canyon a few years ago and it was interesting because you see a million pictures of it, but none even comes close to how amazing it is. I wish all the river trips were not minimum 4 days. I would love to see it from the water, but am not sure that I could handle being trapped on a boat with strangers for that long Shiny/thrilled
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Re: National Park joy

Post by Wondering on Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:11 pm

Oh, totally agree about the Grand Canyon. Like, any cultural awareness at all will teach you the Grand Canyon is big. It's large. It's grand. But you go there and stand on the rim and it's so much bigger than you imagined. And the vastness of the drop below you and everything. I felt the same way about Niagara Falls, honestly. That you see photos and videos, but the sheer volume of the water -- of one Great Lake pouring into another -- is astounding, especially if you're standing at the top and feeling the spray hit your face.

I was at the south rim of the Grand Canyon on a road trip about a decade ago. But my husband hasn't been there, so doing both the north and south rims was part of our Utah NPs trip plan. The north rim looks much less populated but still has a lodge and dining.

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Re: National Park joy

Post by reboot on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:42 am

I did the whole rim to rim and back again when I first got divorced. I definitely like North Rim better because there are fewer people and the terrain around it is much more beautiful. Highly recommend.

I want to go up to Glacier and Yellowstone, but am not sure I could do it in one trip and do justice to both. One of my friends went snowshoeing in Yellowstone, which sounded like an asskicker, albeit a fun one. Do you think I could swing both in a two week trip?

I also want to check out some parks east of the Rockies, but do not know much about any of them. Any rec?
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Re: National Park joy

Post by Wondering on Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:59 pm

You guys, if you have a chronic condition that qualifies for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can get a free, lifetime National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands pass. This is the one that costs $80 a year normally. It gets you into everything the National Park Service runs (parks, monuments, historic sites, memorials, battlefields, etc), as well as lands run by Department of Agriculture.

It apparently covers up to 4 other people in your family.

I had no idea I could get this. I mean, I know that diabetes qualifies for protections, but I grew up without the ADA, so I never think about the benefits I can get, too. I wish I'd known this years ago. I have bought the annual pass a couple times and paid for individual parks repeatedly.

If you or a family member have a condition that qualifies, take advantage!

Here's the page that explains the pass:
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

Here's the page explaining how to qualify for the free one:
https://store.usgs.gov/pass/access_pass_application.pdf

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