Jul 4, 2016

Mowers in the Parks

I’ve never been bitten by the wanderlust bug. At least not in the sense that most people have. I’d enjoy seeing Scotland some day. But really, most of the places I want to see are within the United States. I want to see Maine in the fall. Alaskan glaciers (while wrapped up in big coats and blankets!). Half Dome. The Redwoods. I want to sit on river banks where men fought to make and keep us a country. I want to visit homes where ideas were born. I love this beautiful country I get to live in.

After two consecutive summers working for the National Park Service at the Fort Bowie National Historic Site, we are pretty partial to the National Parks. It’s always been on our To-Do list to see more of them and to make a National Park Summer tour one year.

Well this year we’re doing it! And we’re loving it so far! We’ve hit eleven National Park Service sites since getting the pass in April, and have about 12 that are on our list to hit in the next month! We’re keeping track of the entrance fees “waived” with this pass to see just how much we get out of it (and to make sure we at least recoup the $80 pass price), and we’re sitting at $64 (with National Parks, BLM picnic grounds, and Forest Service sites). We still have the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone on our list too! 

These cliffs were spectacular! I wanted so bad to go down in those box canyons, but we didn’t plan enough time in the day to do so. We’ll have to come back!

See the teeny tiny ruins at the base of that cliff? Give a little more perspective! These cliffs are crazy!

I’d never seen a 419.9 sign in real life before and it made me laugh. I knew places in Oregon and Colorado had to start swapping out the 420 signs for 419.9, but I didn’t know AZ had places that needed to as well.

Hubbell Trading Post! I thought I got a picture of the entrance sign, but couldn’t find it! Weird. 

Darrow enjoys road trips and running around, but he’s also learning that if he throws fits or runs away, then we find a bench and sit for a while. I think this is the prettiest time out spot yet, lol.

And then our jaunt into New Mexico!

These Ponderosa Pines smelled heavenly! Some are weakly scented, but this one was strong and fabulous! Did you know that if you stick your nose in the cracks of the Ponderosa Pine bark, it smells like ice cream? Dead serious. Vanilla trees are most common. Strawberry next. Chocolates are rare, but we’ve found a few! Go smell a Ponderosa!

We had just enough time to stop by the El Malpais information center on our drive through the area. No chance to get out and hike, so we’ll have to come back.

Cameron has been dying to take me to Pecos for a long time now, so we made sure to put it on this summer’s list!

Still today if you ask Darrow “What was your favorite part about today?” he answers “The ladders!” He surprised us all when he just ran over and climbed right up. Good thing there were many more ladders to go that day!

These mugs were at every gift shop in the Park Service in New Mexico and I LOVE them. So much. The shape, the sturdiness, and the inside joke with the colors. (“Red or Green?” bahaha). Someday I will own them.

And then the most recent park visit was Bandelier. It was awesome! Cameron’s little sister Abigail came with us to both Pecos and Bandelier, so we had extra fun!

This place just fascinated me! I wish I could see it when people lived here and the buildings were still around.

Visting the parks always leaves me with a sense of awe for the lives lived there and the history engraved in the land. I love seeing where people made stands for freedom, worked hard to live, and where ingenuity reigned. I love seeing the gorgeous landscapes and the beautiful vistas. I love getting the chance to explore where we live. Because it’s marvelous! 

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