The National Parks

My wife and I recently took an RV trip to Arizona and visited Saguaro National Park, the only national park that I had visited and my wife hadn’t. With this visit, we both have now been to 48 of the 59 national parks.

Our goal (really mine that Randi allows) is to visit every one of the parks. We’ve been working on it for more than 30 years and have even seen the number of national parks climb from 51 to 59 during that time.

We’ve already been able to add a couple of new ones this year: Dry Tortugas in Florida, which was fascinating, Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio, which was beautiful, and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, which was a little disappointing because we missed the actual cave tour.

Each of the parks has been fun to visit, and one of the reasons I love having the goal of visiting them all is that it spurs trips, adventures and memories that otherwise wouldn’t happen.

Just last month, we revisited Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas (as well as Carlsbad Caverns), and I wound up playing the guitar in an empty parking lot with an amazing view all around me. Little moments, great memories.

The final 11 parks are not going to be easy to get to. Big Bend National Park is at the very southern tip of Texas. We have a few left to see in Alaska, having checked off the “easy ones.” There is also a national park in American Samoa and it’s probably fair to say that, if they didn’t have a park, we would have never planned on visiting. But they do, so we will, and who knows what we’ll find or experience. I can’t wait to find out!