Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw NRA felt different from the other National Park units I’ve been to. I found it difficult to navigate due to the lack of signs leading to the park. Once I arrived at the Travertine Nature Center I noticed the large amount of visitors meandering about, hanging out at the Nature Center, and playing in almost every bit of water visible. The Travertine Nature Center Park Rangers offered visitors information about the park, stamps, suggestions for hikes, and were incredibly…

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Death Valley in Summer – crazy or awesome? Stay tuned!

Death Valley in Summer – crazy or awesome? Stay tuned!

At 8pm as I type this, the temperature at Furnace Creek in Death Valley is 100F with 5% humidity. The overnight low is 80, and the high tomorrow is 113. So why then, would we want to visit mid-August? 1. Timing – off season there are less crowds. cheaper rooms, and more vast desert to yourself. The night is also warm for exploring – just be aware of wildlife you may encounter! 2. High elevations – won’t be as hot,…

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Review: Cabrillo National Monument’s Above the fireworks

Review: Cabrillo National Monument’s Above the fireworks

On July 4th, I attended Cabrillo National Monument’s “above the fireworks” event.  It was a rare chance to be in the park after dark, and tickets are limited due to parking capacity! We had an amazing time and I was able to get some great photos of the fireworks over San Diego. There are 4 simultaneous displays going off at once to music broadcast over the radio. We didn’t bring one, but our neighbors were kind enough to turn their…

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Flashback to 2008 – San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Flashback to 2008 – San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Flashback to 2008 – a trip to Houston to visit a friend turns into a 2 day whirlwind tour of San Antonio and Austin. First stop – the San Antonio Missions! There are FOUR Missions in San Antonio and it is absolutely possible to visit them all in a single day! It was my first EVER trip to Texas, and I remember thinking how flat everything was compared to the east coast. Now living on the west coast, I think…

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San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Saturday, June 18th San Antonio Missions National Historical Park offered a free open house and picnic at Mission Concepcion. The public was encouraged to bring in lawn chairs, food, and cameras for the community event. Live music was provided by Horizon, food trucks offered tasty treats for purchase, and kiddos were provided activities to keep them occupied! It was a hot Texas Saturday, nevertheless people were out enjoying the park. I had originally thought the missions were in close proximity…

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2009 Flashback: Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

2009 Flashback: Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

Flashback to an overcast April day, a relatively empty Pu’ukohola Heiau NHS, my camera and a few hours to explore before I met up with friends. I decided to visit Pu’ukohola Heiau alone as my friends preferred shopping to a rainy morning adventure. I was determined to visit the Park and get a passport stamp before I left the island. Also, I had heard black-tipped reef sharks could be seen in Pelekane Bay (early morning is usually the best time). Upon arrival…

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National Mall and Memorial Parks – so many stamps!

National Mall and Memorial Parks – so many stamps!

Last week I had the chance to visit DC, 11 years after I first lived in the area, and 9 after I left. It was the week leading up to Memorial Day, so the city was bustling with school field trips, tourists, and of course, workers in suits. The stage was set for the annual PBS Memorial Day concert on the Capitol Lawn (filmed Sunday evening, dress rehearsal Saturday). The summer heat suddenly appeared after weeks of cold rain, with…

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Pullman National Monument

Pullman National Monument

  Chicago’s Pullman National Monument is a newly designated unit of the National Park Service. George Pullman was a railroad juggernaut who decided to build a company town for his employees. The idea was for his workers to have a “town” that provided them with a better standard of living and in turn he could retain those skilled workers. However, the town did not become quite the success Pullman had hoped for. The demand for railcars slowed and to make…

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Summer events at Cabrillo National Monument!

Summer events at Cabrillo National Monument!

In celebration of the NPS centennial, Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego is hosting special events all summer, in partnership with the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation (CNMF) and Cabrillo National Monument Conservancy (CNMC).  Many of these events are after-hours and extremely special, since the park normally closes at 5pm.  Visitors have a chance to experience sunset from the park, one of the best vantage points of San Diego (in my opinion). Extended hours on Memorial Day, Monday May 30th.  12pm-8pm.  Check out…

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Waco Mammoth National Monument

Waco Mammoth National Monument

Recently I had to opportunity to visit Waco Mammoth National Monument in Waco, Texas. The monument was added to the National Park System in 2015. It includes a shelter that is climate controlled and protects the dig site while ongoing scientific studies are conducted. It also offers visitors an overhead view of the fossils via a suspended walkway. Visitors can roam the grounds for free, while a $5 fee allows you to see the dig site and partake in a…

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