As a frequent traveler to the Rocky Mountain west I’ve also been a frequent visitor to National Parks. My relationship with these patches of land can only be defined as ethereal (defined as “heavenly or celestial“), and this January post provides the context, as well as my Top 10:
Our National Parks: A half-fuller’s best friend
Today as I was writing a check for my annual contribution to the National Park Foundation (NPF), it occured to me how pivotal all my visits to many of these Parks have been to keeping my glass half full all these years. There’s something about the sense of awe one gets when seeing these landmarks of nature that always manages to put me in a very good place – a good case in point is Grand Teton in Wyoming (see the picture on one of my earliest posts). Every time I visit there (which is about annualy) I feel calm, renewed and revitalized. I can’t really explain exactly why – but I do think it’s spiritual. In any case, here’s my Top 10 National Parks that I’ve visited:
1. Grand Teton (see above); best vista in the US, bar none
2. Glacier– just awesome; a must see in one’s lifetime
3. Yellowstone – the grandaddy of them all; nature’s Disneyland
4. Grand Canyon – oh yes; spend the extra time and go to the North Rim
5. Acadia – Maine is a beautiful state, and this is a centerpiece
6. Zion – rugged adventure
7. Rocky Mountain – the highest place to take your car in the US; 12,000 feet!
8. Arches – “arid redness” in great rock formations
9. Mesa Verde – cool place near a wonderful Durango
10. Bryce Canyon – great companion to Zion in Utah
The sad thing is, government funding for these parks and all the rest of them I’ve yet to visit is pretty inadequate – roads are going unpatched, buildings are in a state of disrepair, and fewer Park Rangers roam the parks. If you can spare it, I highly urge a contribution to the NPF – not to mention a call or letter to your congress person.
Sadly, based on some of my more recent visits, the parks are even in worse shape than a year ago, so I’m gearing up for another contribution to the NPF. In fact, I’m strongly considering putting ads on this site and contributing all the proceeds to the NPF, so we all can get into the act. What do you think? We just can’t let these treasures slip away.