It’s National Park Week 2013… April 20-28

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

It’s National Park Week. One of my blogging friends reminded me. Somehow I lost track of time and became so wrapped up in the minutia of life that the week had arrived before I realized it was happening. Shame on me.

The United States and many other nations around the world have done a magnificent job of setting aside national parks. We owe it to ourselves to go out and explore these treasures. And, we owe it to our great, great, great, great-grandchildren to protect these sites of rare natural beauty for future generations.

It won’t be easy. There will always be people who believe financial gain outweighs any other consideration. Why save thousand-year-old redwood trees when they can be turned into highly profitable redwood decks?

Redwood

This 1500 year old redwood is located in Redwoods National Park on the northern coast of California.

Several years ago, Peggy and I set a goal to visit all of America’s National Parks. With the exception of Kobuk Valley and Lake Clark in Alaska, we’ve succeeded. It has been an incredible journey. Our travels have taken us from Denali National Park in Alaska to the Dry Tortugas National Park off the Florida Keys.

In addition to driving through and hiking in these parks, I have also backpacked in 13, biked through five, and kayaked or rafted in three. Once I even organized a winter ski trek into Denali National Park where we slept out in minus 30-degree weather and listened to wolves howl. That was a learning experience…

Since I couldn’t escape to a national park this week, I did the next best thing; I went through photos of parks Peggy and I have taken. All I could think of was wow– what incredible beauty!

Rocky National Park in Colorado.

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Hawaii Volcanos National Park.

An active volcano in Hawaii Volcanos National Park on the Island of Hawaii.

Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.

Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. A sign warned us to look out for an active grizzly bear.

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California

Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California. I once woke up near here with a bear standing on top of me.

Fall colors of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia

Fall colors of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park.

Sand dunes in Death Valley National Park.

The green of Olympic National Park in Washington.

The green of Olympic National Park in Washington.

Lesser known National Parks such as Great Basin in Nevada also hold great charm and beauty. This photo features the van Peggy  and I travelled in for four years as we travelled around North America.

Lesser known national parks such as Great Basin in Nevada also hold great charm and beauty. This photo features the van Peggy and I travelled in for four years as we wandered around North America.

Spectacular scenery is only part of the national park story. Wildlife, birds, insects, reptiles, flowers and history add to the experience.

Peggy and I found this beauty swimming through the water at Everglades National Park in Florida.

Peggy and I found this beauty swimming through the water at Everglades National Park in Florida.

And this striking Black Buzzard was another Everglades resident.

And this striking Black Buzzard was another Everglades resident.

We found this Luna Moth on the Natchez National Parkway.

We found this Luna Moth on the Natchez Trace National Parkway.

Brown Pelicans are a common visitor at Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

Brown Pelicans are common visitors at Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

Peggy and I are great fans of Native America rock art, much of which is protected in National Parks and at National Monuments. This man with his big hands and fat little dogs has always been one of my favorites.

Peggy and I are great fans of Native America rock art, much of which is protected in national parks and at national monuments. We have several thousand photos from different sites. This one from Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado/Utah has always been a favorite because of the big hands and fat little dogs.

It never hurts to complete a blog with a pretty flower. We found this Foxglove growing in Olympic National Park.

It never hurts to complete a blog with a pretty flower, even if it goes on and on. (grin) We found this Foxglove growing in Olympic National Park.

NEXT BLOG: I hope you have enjoyed my two diversions over the past week because of Earth Day and National Park Week. On Monday I will return to Europe and Rome’s historic Colosseum.

16 comments on “It’s National Park Week 2013… April 20-28

  1. I am always intrigued by which photos you select to feature to capture the theme of the blog. I am entranced by dramatic colors and shapes. I can understand why artists and photographers are motivated and challenged by the richness of all found in the national parks. Yes, we are fortunate that many had the vision to protect the gift of nature.

  2. I have kicked my behind a million times over..when I left the Army, hubby(then, now an ex) drove across country taking a month to travel. he wanted to see the Grand Canyon but with 3 small children I just knew one would fall over the side.. Mother’s Panic.. needless to say never saw it and boy do I wish I had of..
    Hard lesson to learn..
    Beautiful pictures Curt!

  3. What a BEAUTIFUL post…. Such gorgeous shots, wow. Really shows the utter beauty and variety of our landscapes and land. Doesn’t it behoove us to protect it all the more…?

    Love that Olympic shot, though. Just perfect.

  4. Love ’em. You and Peggy are my kind of folks. Would love to trek with you. The buzzards I can take or leave, and I believe your lovely flowers may be the deadly digitalis???? or foxglove??? Fill me in, I’d love to know.

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