A Guide to Camping in the Painted Desert of Petrified Forest National Park

On my cross-country road trip from Tennessee to Colorado, I overshot by destination and ended up in Arizona.  Since I was already there, I stopped to visit Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Forest is a modern desert known for its fossilized wood from forest long past.  This was a budget trip and I was trying to camp as much as possible to save money.  The park does not have a campground.  BUT one can get a backpacking permit for Painted Desert camping. Continue Reading . . .

An Explanation on the United States National Parks System Nomenclature

Yosemite National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, San Juan National Historic Site, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Oregon National Historic Trail.  All of these sites are managed by the National Park Service.  All of them are part of the United States National Park System. The names are designed to help explain their purpose and level of protection.  Sometimes the names are confusing and sometimes don’t make sense.  To most visitors, the designation doesn’t matter but learning the national park system nomenclature can help understand the importance of these American Treasures. Continue Reading . . .

Ten Things to Know when visiting Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is a great vacation spot.  The islands offer a ton of fun under the sun. The white beach and volcanos make it easy to forget that Hawaii plays a significant role United States history.  The Japanese surprise attack in the early morning of December 7, 1941, forced the US hand and forced the US’s entrance into World War II.  Every tourist to Oahu should take time to visit Pearl Harbor.  Here are 10 things to know when visiting Pearl Harbor. Continue Reading . . .

A Guide to Etsy for Handcrafted National Park Traveler Gifts

I make no bones about being a national park junkies.  I have been to 45 of the 59 national parks.  I love having unique items to display my love of the national parks.  There is no better place to find really unique gifts online than Etsy.  All the items are from small business by fellow national park lovers. Here are 15 of my favorite National Park Traveler Gifts from Etsy. Continue Reading . . .

United States 59 National Park Quest #42 – Crater Lake National Park

The sun had long since set by the time I got to Crater Lake National Park. I had made the long drive from Davis, CA to Crater Lake National Park after work to spend the weekend in Oregon’s only national park. I couldn’t wait to check out Crater Lake as it would be my 42nd national park and the last of the Cascade mountain national parks. As with most of my trips, this was a last minute decision to spend the weekend in Crater Lake. Continue Reading . . .