Browsing Category "Parks"
More pasture.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Traffic Jam

By     |    Apr 30, 2012
Posted in: North Carolina, Parks, Tennessee     |    4 Comments

We had been warned that Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the busiest park in the country. But it’s hard to imagine what 9,000,000 visitors per year means, or even what 60,000 visitors per busy weekend looks like. And then we got there and we got stuck in the Great Smoky Mountains National Traffic Jam. The good news is that the park is huge, and that most visitors stay on […]

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What is this thing? Does anyone know? It was growing under the pines like a mushroom.

The Flora and Fauna of The Breaks Interstate Park

By     |    Apr 25, 2012
Posted in: Kentucky, Parks, Virginia     |    3 Comments

Crunch…crunch…crunch…snuffle snuffle. I really wanted to see a black bear in The Breaks Interstate Park, which straddles the border between Kentucky and Virginia, and this seemed like our chance. We were right next to the van, so we could jump in when it approached. Perfect. We waited, tense, for this stamping beast to appear. Finally it drew closer, and I realized that it could only have two legs. Was it […]

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Google Maps - Google Chrome_2012-04-21_19-55-13

Driving Directions: Breaks Interstate Park – Google Maps Tries To Kill Us

By     |    Apr 24, 2012
Posted in: Kentucky, Parks, Virginia     |    No Comments

We trust Google with most directions. I spend much of our driving days on the Google Maps Android app (while Lisa drives). Most days end up being uneventful — we just find where we want to go. Driving to Breaks Interstate Park … not so much. If you look at a map, you may think you can just take Highway 119  out of Charleston, WV to Highway 80 and, easy-peasy, […]

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Blue Hen Falls.

The Suburban Park: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

By     |    Apr 23, 2012
Posted in: Ohio, Parks     |    1 Comment

Between Cleveland and Akron, OH lies one of the newest National Parks in the US, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (est. 2000). We meandered through it on our way south after leaving Cleveland. Honestly, the vibe is a bit odd. I grew up just outside Milwaukee, near the Menomonee River Parkway. A lot of this park feels like a nice, suburban parkway. Sure, it’s a bit bigger. There are a few […]

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The architectural model.

Crystal Bridges Museum, Classing Up Bentonville, Arkansas

By     |    Apr 5, 2012
Posted in: Arkansas, Parks     |    2 Comments

Crystal Bridges Museum, Alice Walton’s (a Walmart heiress) attempt at ennobling Arkansas, is great. Its architecture is striking, its setting is beautiful, and its art is provocative. If it was just a park that you could wander through, it’d be amazing. The museum and reception venue put it over the top. But here’s the best part: it’s free. I hated the Hearst Castle because it felt like a money grab, like robbery. $25 […]

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This looks like Halloween.

A Journey to the Center of the Earth at Carlsbad Caverns

By     |    Mar 30, 2012
Posted in: Hikes, New Mexico, Parks     |    4 Comments

The trip through the Mines of Moria was always my favorite part of the Lord of the Rings books. As a kid, I read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth as if it were a factual account of a fantastical place I would visit someday. And now, standing 750 feet below the surface of the earth, I felt like I was in Moria or on my way […]

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Good morning, snowstorm.

Guadalupe National Park: An Unknown National Park

By     |    Mar 29, 2012
Posted in: Parks, Texas     |    No Comments

I’d never heard of Guadalupe National Park, tucked in the corner of Texas in that spot where the big state slides in between New Mexico and Mexico. And while we spent about 24 hours there, I still don’t know much about the place. We rolled in in a wind/dust/sandstorm that obscured the high peaks and buffeted our van all night. In the morning we woke to a thin little blanket […]

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Poppy torture chamber.

Mining for Poppies at Rockhound State Park, New Mexico

By     |    Mar 28, 2012
Posted in: New Mexico, Parks     |    2 Comments

Some people come to Rockhound State Park to spend a few cheap, quiet weeks or nights in the desert. Most come for the rockhounding, aka amateur geologying, searching in various levels of seriousness for semi-precious stones like opals, minerals like quartz and jasper, and geodes. Some are hobbyists, some are undoubtedly rock shop owners, and some are looking for their rocky lottery ticket. The ground is visibly scratched and scuffed, and large […]

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Waxie TP: absolute shit at wiping shit.

Waxie Toilet Paper … You’re the Worst Toilet Paper I’ve Ever Used, So Here’s a Poem.

By     |    Mar 21, 2012
Posted in: Parks, Travel     |    2 Comments

This stuff is at nearly every park we visit … and I hate it. It just doesn’t work. I wrote it a poem: Waxie toilet paper, oh how I hate thee, At least I don’t have to use you when I pee, Because all you do is smear and smoosh. You don’t even act nicely when you flush! That’s why this University is suing you, You’re no better than a […]

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A Death Valley Pupfish male (upper left) and two of his females.

Happy Monday from the Salt Creek Pupfish!

By     |    Mar 19, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    No Comments

Hello, Salt Creek Pupfish here, just wanting to wish you a Happy Monday! I’d be willing to bet that your Monday will be happier than mine, because even though I may mate a few times today, chances are good I’ll be dead in a month … or maybe I’ll be dead this afternoon. I’m also only the size of a paperclip, and I’m scared of shadows. I only live in […]

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