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National Parks: Celebrating 100 Years

My Grand Canyon

GrandCanyonRouteLast October my opportunity to see the Grand Canyon and a few other wonderful sites in the Geri's Grand Canyon Shotswestern part of the country came along through a friend. My friend wanted to go see grown kids and grandchildren via automobile along the southern and northern driving routes from Kansas City to California. This was a spur of the moment type of travel, but it was worth the last minute scramble to get everything together. We had an adventure I’ll never forget!

After many hours in the car and a few pit stops at some dubious rest areas, we finally arrived at the national park. The Grand Canyon was far grander than I had imagined and well worth the extra miles added to the trip. I can’t imagine driving in the general vicinity and passing on the opportunity to see a most wonderful park. Of course, there were touristy type places to eat and shop because of the park, but those places serve as a warning that something worth seeing is around the bend.

And when I say around the bend, I mean around the bend. It felt like 30 miles of driving along a winding road in the desert passing cyclists and family vehicles with mounted luggage racks before seeing evidence of the Grand Canyon. Maybe it wouldn’t have felt so long if I hadn’t experienced the desert climate on a rainy day. My grand canyon visit was a wet one with scattered showers all along the paths and that makes it a special time for me. How many people go to the desert and get soaking wet trying to take a couple of pictures? It was my adventure into the unknown.

Adventures and Exploration

Anybody who loves to travel feels that adrenaline rush when the time to see what you sought out arrives. As a kid I remember riding in the backseat (or should I say the back window) of the car, not appreciating the long, uncomfortable ride to see something significant. However, I did love the adventure and exploring the unknown and still do love laying eyes on something new to me.

For many of us baby boomers, national parks served as vacation spots every summer. Our Geri's Grand Canyon Shotsparents could justify spending their hard-earned money traveling to these destinations because they needed to see where their tax dollars were going. For some travelers, it was the first time they didn’t chart a course to a relative’s house. Many people still insist on the security of camping inside a publicly owned park.

Natural wonders like the Grand Canyon inspired many careers, movies, and lifestyles. It is no wonder we have renowned publications like the National Geographic featuring brilliant photography in our national parks. What would our American lifestyle be without the development of our national parks system? I can’t imagine giving such gorgeous scenery to the eyes of only the fortunate few to purchase and inhabit. Destinations inside our borders, our parks still warrant a drive, a tour, a few days of our time.

100 Year Anniversary

According to the National Park Foundation:

There are 84 million acres of iconic, treasured and sacred places protected in America’s over 400 national parks – and it all belongs to you. This is your land.

A huge amount of public and private resources are used to maintain and improve our Geri's Grand Canyon Shotsnational parks. And the resources of many more people and organizations support the development of historical documents and media associated with the national parks for future generations. PBS does an excellent job of making the history of our national parks interesting through in-depth examinations of the stories behind the people and places associated with the development of our parks. Ken Burns does outstanding work.

August 25, 2016 is the actual date the National Parks Service turns 100. Take some time this year to simply appreciate that notable event. I understand Congress directed the mint to create commemorative coins on December 19, 2014.

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There’s no shortage of ideas and work created with the national parks system. We all benefit by making a point of visiting and enjoying at least our own personal favorites. With each visit I pick up another souvenir, generally a piece of jewelry or postcard for my scrapbook. And I always take plenty of pictures.

Tours and Events

In the Brochure Rack on my website, you’ll find several brochures/magazines with our national parks, including a few articles on the Grand Canyon. Help yourself to a brochure. Use the email and sharing functions to give hints to those friends and family that need visual aids. The Brochure Rack is situated on the bottom of my Cruise Planners website home page so you can easily share anytime.

Sometimes the brochures list upcoming events at or near your chosen destinations. Be sure to review Ticket Monster for event tickets. My Cruise Planners website displays the link for tickets on the bottom of the home page next to the brochures.

Celebrations

To be part of our national park’s 100 year celebration, I’ve got some fun things planned. Look for the announcements on Twitter @CruisesByGeri and Facebook /CruisesByGeri where you’ll get the opportunity to share in the fun as well. I’m planning a photo contest with prizes and some fun little games to participate in the celebration. There will be give-a-ways and voting. Come share this once-in-a-lifetime event with me. They made commemorative coins so it’s worth us getting excited!