A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Passport to Your National Parks

Alycia here.  One of my new and favorite hobbies, beyond tending to the dogs and garden has become visiting National Parks, and more specifically using my Passport to the National Parks as a vessel to guide my visits. Now, I don't know exactly why the Passport strikes my fancy so much. I've come up with four possible reasons so far: 1) It's quite possibly because I'm just a kid at heart. 2) Possibly it's because I hang out with 3-7 year old kids on a daily basis (as a speech-language pathologist), and during our sessions we spend a lot of time playing with stickers and stamps. 3) Perhaps I really am a geeky academic who likes to collect data, and the stamps are a good way for me to keep track of where I've been. Or finally, 4) Possibly, I'm just a cheap tourist and this is a good souvenir that doesn't cost much and fits easily into my little travel bags. But in any case, I get a big kick out of collecting the cancellation stamps at the National Parks and Monuments that we visit, and collecting their accompanying stickers that go with the cancellation stamps.

I first saw the Passports on our trip to Yellowstone in 2010. I was too meek at that point in time to buy a passport on that trip (something that I'm regretting to this day). I thought that it was something only for kids, little did I know that there is a National Park Travelers Club for adults. John bought me my passport book the following Christmas and I was just waiting to use it until this summer when we went on our two week road trip from North Dakota to California and back.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the passport program. In all of the national park visitor centers (and sometimes other places, as well), there is a stand that looks like this one at Devils Tower:

Once you see the stand, you'll probably start to notice people doing things like this, as I did at Devils Tower and in Yosemite:

And finally, you may see people admiring their finished products:

Anyway, I came to the idea of National Parks a bit late in life - primarily because North Dakota doesn't have many. But, I'm really taken by the idea of them (also having greatly enjoyed Ken Burns' National Park PBS series) and hope to plan many vacations around visiting national parks in the future. So, if you see me (or another adult) lurking around with a funny little book and stickers in a National Park visitors' center near you, don't judge us - join us in supporting national parks...

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

This is a fabulous and fun idea, and a great souvenir of all the places you've seen :)