Monday, January 17, 2022

Park #2 - Great Sand Dunes

 Great Sand Dunes National Park: Visited June 25th, 2010 

This park Doni and I visited back in 2010 when we were on our way to my sister Beth's wedding up in Summit County of Colorado. Even though I'd been to Colorado many time, Great Sand Dune is on the west side of the Crestone range, meaning there's not a particularly good way to get to it, without having a reason to go there. In this case our path to Summit County took us west across Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico and up into Colorado from the south. From there we cut across the gap in the Crestones south of Blanca peak and into the area from the south. We had an afternoon free, so we stopped and dinked around in the sand. 

The dunes were huge, and that time of the year Medano creek was flowing well, so it almost had a 'beach' feel to it, with the sand water and sun. 

Unfortunately there was a large forest fire raging in the high peaks of the Crestones just to the east of us. It wasn't threatening the park per se, but I did notice some ash and soot in Medano creek, which was interesting. 

All in all, it was an enjoyable afternoon stop at an out of the way National Park. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Park #1 - Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park: 

So this one is easy. This was my 'local park' for the better part of 12 years when I lived in Little Rock. It was right down the road, and just required an easy drive. Heck I got married technically "in" Hot Springs National Park:

This was at the Old Mill wedding chapel on the north side of the park. I've been trying to find some other better pictures, but before the age of Google Photos I'm having to dig back thru memory sticks and such... oh well, 'tis technology... 

Either way, I've been in and around Hot Springs National Park many times over the past 10 years, so that's why it's park blog #1 on my list. If I ever find more pictures, I'll add them :)

Saturday, January 1, 2022

The National Park Challenge

 So I'm adding a new category to this blog, in the hopes that it might get me writing a few more things more often. It's simple enough category, and it's all about a goal... and the goal is simple: 

I want to travel to all of the National Parks in the United States in my life. 

Yup. It's that simple. And yet it's not. So, let's start with the basic. 

The Parks

There are 63 National Parks in the US as of January 1st, 2022 - when I'm writing this. I've already been to 18 of them before, though 4 I probably should go back and revisit, cause I was only driving thru quickly and didn't get a chance to do much. The remaining 14 I've seen most everything I wanted to see, and would be OK not looping back to them again without a reason. 

Of the 45 parks I still need to visit, 30 of them only require me to literally get in my truck and start driving, albeit some are a fair distance. Of the 15 left after that 7 of them require a fairly long flight to either Alaska, Hawaii, or American Samoa first - and then I can drive to the park. 4 of the remainders require a flight, a drive, and a boat trip, and the final 4 require a flight, a drive, another flight, and then an amount of backcountry work involving planes, boats, and hiking. 

My List:

So, as you can see I've got a ways to go. I think what I'm planning on doing for this blog's sake is trying to cover parks I've been to in the past, post some pictures or something, and then use that as my reference for "I've been to that park". I've never been one much for remembering my NPS 'Passport' book, but I do normally take pictures. 


That's really it for now. This is my plan. I've written it down, let's see how things go. I'll be back thruout 2022 providing updates. Most will likely be short and sweet, some might be more detailed. Good luck to me.