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National Parks: The Places of Awesome Nature

MazzyxMazzyx Comedy GoldRegistered User regular
edited September 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Currently I am watching a special on PBS on National Parks of the United States and their history. One of the more unique developments out of the United States. Starting with Yosemite during the US Civil War and leading up to the Yellowstone National Park in 1872. The current park system is under control of the United States National Park Service which was founded in 1916. Parks range from vast tracks of desert such as Death Valley to the wetlands of the the Florida Everglades.

America may have been the first but was not the last. Canada's first was Rocky Mountain National Park in 1885, Australia establishing Royal National Park in 1879 and New Zealand establishing its first park in 1887.

National parks, monuments and forest are places where people can go and see their land as it was before the white man came. See the wildlife and the land in a state where one can touch the land itself. This thread is talking about your favorite parks to visit. Stories of your encounters on your travels. Be it the bison who chased that poor fisherman in pink up a tree or slowly backing away when you see the grizzly mother with her cubs and hoping she doesn't notice you. Now some pictures of some of my favorite places I have visited.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lake

Old Faithful

Yosemite National Park

El' Capitan

Grand Tetons National Park

These are few of my favorite places. I think Yellowstone is one of the most wonderful and beautiful places I have been. I can sit and watch lake for hours. Walk among the paint pots or to one of its many smaller lakes or streams and watch the world around me. Be it bald eagles fishing or elk and moose grazing. It is a wonderful place where one can connect to nature and the world itself outside this interconnected nuthouse we call civilization. And hopefully we continue to support these oasis in the connected world so you can be more of a man of nature than a man of the interconnected world.

What are your stories? Your feelings on these places? Those outside the states, tell us of your parks and experiences as well. I would love to hear of them.

Mazzyx on


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    SosSos Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    oh man oh man oh man oh man. National Parks rule!

    I had a great overnight canoe trip with my father last March on the Rio Grande in Big Bend. We canoed through a canyon that was just 1500 feet high canyon walls on both sides of the river. There was very little vegetation, and very little wildlife. Just us and the echoes of the river. It was very therapeutic. Preceding that I hadn't talked to my father in years, and it was a perfect father son trip before I moved hundreds of miles away. There were caves in the canyon wall. We ended up pulling out our gear and getting to one very low set. there was a stream coming down with perfectly clear water, unlike the greenish river. It narrowed into this 2.5 ft diamter hole. I climbed through that hole as my father stood back. When I went in I found myself in this room with a crack in the ceiling where sunlight came through. That light came down on a boulder wedged into the wall. On that boulder was a thick pach of the most lushly green ferns I've ever seen in my life, and a path of them on the canyon floor. It was beautiful, keep in mind I hadn't seen anything green in days. There was so many crazy adventures we had.

    The trip ended as we tried to exit the canyon. There was a hard blowing wind pushing against us. When it gave bursts it would stop our canoe still. As we got closer to the opening it soon became like a wind tunnel with waves. Water came into our canoe and we almost flipped when the wind blew the nose of the canoe to the side. There are few times when I have felt physically spent, and after canoeing through that and bailing water and paddling with all my might I practically collapsed. But after those few moments of calm all I could do was laugh a fully bellied laugh with my father.

    Anyways, I'm not a good storyteller. Some great memories come out of national parks. When I get the money I want to get a decent mountain bike and go back to big bend with a couple brave souls and have another helluva time.

    Sos on
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I have been to one full-fledged national park, Grand Canyon.

    I refer to it now as the Big Scary Hole In The Ground. We got in at the well-traveled South Rim. As part of our visit, we got up to see sunrise at the rim. And I'll admit, it was very beautiful.

    It was also what we up here would refer to as 'nippy'. It's what you would refer to as 'in the low 40's'. It was a mistake to wear shorts and a T-shirt.

    It was also an area with a concerningly low wall. This particular vista, I looked down and could not see the bottom of the cliff. Seeing as I was in an airplane a few days prior and could make out individual cars and houses at 30,000 feet, and had no comparably small objects to make out from my vista... I got a little alarmed. It doesn't help that the Canyon just draws you in as you're straining to find something down there.

    So then we went on a bus ride to some other vistas on the way to Hermits Rest, a gift shop. The bus driver went at a pace I'd describe as 'SLOW DOWN YOU MANIAC YOU'LL KILL US ALL'. We stopped at the first of eight vistas, and... there was no restraining wall whatsoever. You have a cliff, and you have oblivion right there in front of you. You also have a loose rock surface. My mom and dad ventured out a bit to look around. I was concerned mainly with staying well back of the Big Scary Hole In The Ground.

    It did not help that at this time, a book in our living room at home describing people who fell to their deaths in the Canyon decided to barge its way to the forefront of my mind.

    Vista 2, I could swear the Big Scary Hole In The Ground got deeper between Vistas 1 and 2.

    Vista 3 was called 'The Abyss' and I checked out completely.

    Vista 4, despite a restraining wall you'd see at a NASCAR event, I wanted absolutely no part of and just wanted to take the fastest route out of the park. It did not help that by now, you could no longer see anything between South Rim and North Rim. At base camp you could at least see a trail below or a mesa or something. Now? Nothing. Mom and Dad decide to keep looking at vistas, I bury my head in the bus seat in front of me in hopes that if I don't look at the Big Scary Hole In The Ground it'll go away.

    This was last fall, by the way.

    So I reach Hermit's Rest, and to get there, you have to go across a semi-level semi-staircase about two yards from the cliff edge. Eek. I get a soda, I get a little Navajo sand painting that's on my wall right now, and I wait for Mom, Dad, and a return bus to rebury my face in.

    On the way back, while getting another Insane Bumpy Twisty Turny Ride, the driver notes that the road we're on won't be usable in a few years as it will soon fall into the canyon. Gee. Thanks a bunch for telling me that.

    When we finally get back to base, I make a beeline for the rental car and sound like Marge Simpson on the airplane ("LETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFFLETMEOFF...") I don't calm down until we're past Tusuyan.

    This week my mom and dad will be returning to the Big Scary Hole In The Ground while I stay here to housesit. None of us have a problem with this arrangement.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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