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The Greatest American Road Trip

Heidi Shenk "travel"

Grand Prismatic Spring

This past weekend, while in Syracuse, my friend and I were talking about her upcoming travels to some National Parks out west as well as our mutual desire to visit Acadia National Park. I've always loved the National Parks, and they have long been a reason to travel to some parts of our country I may not have gone otherwise. The fact that we've protected pristine lands so that we can enjoy them for many years to come seems so incredibly important.

Badlands National Park

Unbeknownst to me, my friend informed me that this was the 100th anniversary of the National Parks. This gave me the itch to want to travel to a few more of them even more so. And then yesterday, I stumbled upon The Greatest American Road Trip. A couple, one a National Geographic photographer and the other a travel writer, decided to visit 59 National Parks in 52 weeks while on assignment for National Geographic Travel. Along the way, they are documenting their travels and adventures.

Grand Teton National Park

While I thought I had already visited a lot of the parks, I've only visited 12 of them in total, which is only about one fifth of the parks. Some of them, such as Yellowstone, Badlands, Grand Teton, Everglades, and Rocky Mountain, I have been lucky enough to visit multiple times. As a teenager, I felt as though I had more access to the parks, since the driving distance from the Midwest was within range for a decent road trip because many of the parks are in the western portion of the United States. Now, living in Baltimore, I feel more cut off from them than I used to. With some airline miles that need to be used before the end of the year, Andrew and I are hoping to make it out to California for Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Sequoia, and Yosemite, amongst other destinations. However, wouldn't it be fun to take a year off and attempt the same road trip to visit all 59 parks? One can definitely dream, and maybe one day we'll do just that.

Are you a huge fan of the National Parks? Which have you visited? Which are your favorites?


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