Our National Parks: A bloggers’ celebration

Aspens along Alberta Falls trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Last week I invited other bloggers to post their favorite stories or pictures of a national park they’ve visited. I’d just watched Ken Burns’ series The National Parks, which illustrates how America’s attitude toward its national parks has evolved over time: from an emphasis on scenery that should be preserved from rapacious development; to a vacation destination to rival Europe; to a potential source of oil or grazing lands in times of national trouble; to a slow recognition that the native fauna—particularly predators, which had been systematically eradicated from the parks—are an integral part of the ecosystem; to a source of both national pride and intimate family histories, as each generation takes its children to the parks and passes on a love for the grandeur of their natural beauty.

People who love gardens tend also to love Mother Nature’s garden, and we’ve had the sense to preserve some of her best handiwork in the national parks. So readers, please join me this week in celebrating a national park you have visited by posting about it. It’s not about perfect photos (although those are welcome!) but personal stories of discovery.

Come back to this post to leave your link, and at the end of the week I’ll compile the links into a wrap-up post so others can easily find your stories and photos. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave a brief comment about your experience at a national park. Visits to national monuments, forests, etc., as well as non-U.S. national parks, are welcome too.

I look forward to reading your stories!

Update: Click here for the wrap-up of national parks posts.

All material © 2006-2009 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

41 Responses

  1. Pam – Great topic! We loved watching the Ken Burns documentary. I don’t think that I have any digital photos — maybe of the Smokies, but not out west since it has been years since I’ve been out there and crossed the Rockies. I’ll have to see if there are any photos uploaded.


    Hi, Cameron. I visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park many times during my childhood, and I have lots of fond memories. If you can scan in a few print photos, I hope you’ll contribute a post this week to share your stories. Most of mine will have scanned photos too. —Pam

  2. Janet says:

    I have enjoyed the series as well Pam. What a great idea for your links. I have a couple posts from this past year about The Grand Canyon- http://thequeenofseaford.blogspot.com/2009/03/wordless-wednesday-vacation.html — Swans at the Yorktown Battlefield- http://thequeenofseaford.blogspot.com/2009/04/sunday-afternoon-at-battlefield.html — and the Yorktown Onions- http://thequeenofseaford.blogspot.com/2009/06/yorktown-onions_06.html — and last, our visit to Monticello years ago– http://thequeenofseaford.blogspot.com/2009/02/national-treasure.html you are welcome to use any or all of these.

    Thanks, Janet, for joining in! You’ve been to some great parks, and I enjoyed all of your posts. BTW, I wanted to leave a comment but couldn’t without a Google account. If you’ll enable the Name/URL setting, others can comment too. Thanks again! —Pam

  3. Audrea Moyers says:

    Pam, I wish I had a blog, because I’d love to share my photos of our recent trips to National Parks. We’ve visited Acadia in Maine, Rocky Mountain, and Olympic in recent summers. While all were gorgeous and made us all want to go back, I’d have to say that Olympic stood out for its combination of mountains, rainforest, and dramatic beaches–not to mention the relative lack of people. I’d love to live about an hour away from a national park and really get to explore one intimately! Thanks for the post; I’m looking forward to reading the responses you get.

    Hi, Audrea. I wish you had a blog too! I’d love to see all your photos. Acadia and Olympic NPs are stunning. D and I visited both years ago, before we had kids. Unfortunately I have no photos to show for it, but I do have good memories. —Pam

  4. Janet says:

    Wow Pam, good to know, I will go back and change that!

    Thanks, Janet. A lot of bloggers don’t know that about their settings. I’m glad I’ll be able to leave a comment on your posts soon. —Pam

  5. Jenny says:

    My post on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is up at http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/2009/10/black-canyon-of-gunnison.html
    Thanks for hosting.

  6. Meredith says:

    I almost thought I didn’t have any pictures to add, and then I remembered our trip to Mesa Verde two years ago. Posted! http://www.greatstems.com/2009/10/a-visit-to-mesa-verde.html

  7. What a lovely idea and wonderful posts. Alas I have no photos of some of the parks visited years ago and the others are slides. So I am just going to enjoy reading your blog and others!

  8. Pam/Digging says:

    Thanks, everyone. Keep ’em coming!

    My own post about Yosemite is up. —Pam

  9. Kathy says:

    All of these posts are beautiful. It is nice to see other people’s adventures.

    My post is here on Canyonlands National Park in Utah. We visited in both summer and winter of 2008, so I have images from both times.


  10. Suzanne Holden says:

    Pam, Alas, I don’t have a blog from which to share photos, but do have many happy memories of the national parks, particularly of Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountain. Such gorgeous and uplifting places to see! This Texas gal hopes to see at least one east of the Mississippi sometime soon. I now have one old friend to visit in northeast Georgia :), so it is possible!

    Those three are some of my favorites as well, Suzanne. Oh heck, every national park I’ve seen has been a favorite. I’ve seen Acadia, Great Smokies, and Mammoth Cave east of the Mississippi, and I’m hoping to get down to the Everglades this spring. So many parks, so little time! Good luck working some more into your travel schedule too. —Pam

  11. Jane says:

    We visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton this past summer, and I blogged about the wildflowers I found there in August:

    What a beautiful and amazing place!

  12. It just so happens I did a series of posts on Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the end of September.


    If I gather up the energy I could do a post on my parents and sister’s visit to Glacier National park from this summer. The pictures are on this computer.

    Thanks for participating, Christopher! I know I read these recently, but I’m going to pop over to refresh my memory. As for Glacier, maybe a guest post by Bulbarella herself! —Pam

  13. ryan says:

    Great idea. I probably won’t have time for a new post, but last week I posted about climbing in Yosemite National Park and the month before that I did a couple of posts about Devil’s Postpile National Monument (run by the park service). I lead a one-month trail crew for the forest service in August, so I’ve been doing a lot of posts about the Sierras lately.


  14. Cheryl says:

    Wonderful idea Pam, I hope I’m not too late. We took our two teenaged daughters through some of the National Parks of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and California and had a magical trip that bonded us to nature and the time we spent together was precious. I’m off to post photos now! I enjoyed your post~cg

    You’re definitely not too late. I look forward to seeing your post, Cheryl. —Pam

  15. Jean says:

    Hi Pam! I just posted about Chobe Nat’l Park in Botswana: http://www.diggrowcompostblog.com/2009/10/pam-at-digging-has-invited-bloggers-to.html. Now off to see yours and others!

  16. Hi Pam. This is a great idea. It’s taken me down memory lane, for sure.
    Just posted about Mesa Verde. http://patchworkgarden.blogspot.com/2009/10/return-with-us-now-to-those-days-of.html
    Thanks for doing this.

    Thanks for participating, Linda. I’ll also add the link to your Black Canyon of the Gunnison post: http://patchworkgarden.blogspot.com/2009/10/black-canyon-of-gunnison-national-park.html ; and your vintage park round-up: http://patchworkgarden.blogspot.com/2009/10/vintage-round-up-of-national-parks.html —Pam

  17. Frances says:

    Finally getting the links to the right place, Pam. I was slowed down by reading your wonderful travelogues. Loved the pregnant you, glowing. And who knew about squirrels being rabbit killers? I wonder if ours do such things? Poor baby bunnies, everybody’s dinner.

    Nothing But Good about Bald River Falls at Cherokee National Forest In Tennessee.

    Appy Trails To You about hiking a small part of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.

  18. I just got back from a trip to three National Parks. Like you, I visited Yosemite Valley. I haven’t even finished writing that up; I’m still trying to digest the experience. This was our first time there but we are already looking forward to returning.

    On the drive to Yosemite from Las Vegas, we went through Death Valley. On the way back, we stopped at Mono Lake in Inyo National Forest.

    My most memorable trip, however, was riding through Grand Canyon in dories. It was such an intense trip, I created, not just a post, but an entire site for it.

    I really like your photos of Bear Lake and Estes Park. That kind of mountain/lake/forest combination is my favorite.

  19. Let’s try the Grand Canyon trip link again: Grand Canyon.

    An awesome account, MSS. Thanks for your links. —Pam

  20. Brad B says:

    Thanks Pam for hosting this great tour of our national parks. Here’s my post about Mt. Rainier.


  21. Pam/Digging says:

    My post about Grand Teton NP is up. —Pam

  22. elephant's eye says:

    Today I have written about the Namaqua National Park on the West Coast

  23. What fun to reminisce about my favorite park visits. Please join me! Jocelyn/The Art Garden

  24. Joseph says:

    Hey Pam, I got a couple of posts for you re: National Parks.

    The first is Celebrating National Parks: Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and the second is Celebrating National Parks Pt. 2: Wildflowers of Colorado. Thanks for allowing us to share!

  25. Susie says:

    Thanks for posting on the National Parks, so fun to see everyone’s photos!

  26. Susie says:

    Oops, forgot to say…check mine out to see Rocky Mountain National Park in Fall.

  27. Thanks for the invitation, Pam!
    Instead of making a focused post I allowed myself to wallow in nostalgia, going for breadth rather than depth. The result may be a photo album more interesting to my relatives than to your readers but it now exists.

    If we do get that pleasant day promised for tomorrow I might snap a few photos and turn my Bloom Day homework in late.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  28. Town Mouse says:

    So, with storm and work and Blog Action Day, I didn’t manage a post (in fact, I even missed bloom day). But this summer I went to Yosemite and made 5 posts about the beautiful flowers I found and the amazing landscape. You can read those posts at this link: http://tmousecmouse.blogspot.com/search/label/Yosemite

    I’ve been to a number of National Parks, and I never tire of Yosemite.
    (Great idea to collect these posts, Pam)

  29. Vertie says:

    Here’s my post on our roadtrip through national parks: http://vertaustin.blogspot.com/2009/10/roadtripping-through-national-parks.html. Thanks for the chance to relive the trip.

  30. elephant's eye says:

    In August I did 2 posts on the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area. What we look at. And where our Elephant gazes out from! http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2009/08/1-where-disas-live-we-have-just-been-to.html

  31. Pam/Digging says:

    My post about Yellowstone is up. —Pam

  32. Jenny says:

    I almost forgot that this spring we went to a National Park much closer to home. Big Bend. Here’s the post I made at the time. http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/2009/04/trip-big-bend-national-park.html

  33. Hi Pam,
    I wrote about my recent visit to Assateague Island National Seashore. Here’s the link: http://rambleonrose-rr.blogspot.com/2009/10/assateague-island-national-seashore.html

    Thanks for hosting this great topic!

  34. Gloriande Bo says:

    Hi Pam – great pictures. I live 10 miles from Wind Cave National Park, which has a large herd of buffalo and wild life. We are almost in Wyoming. Love Yellowstone. – But,we have wildlife right in town. See the deer pictures a block away from my home.

  35. […] This post is part of a week-long bloggers’ celebration of the National Parks. Please join in with a post about any park you’ve visited and leave your link here. […]

  36. […] so much to everyone who joined in the bloggers’ celebration of national parks. You really inspired me. Listed below, in alphabetical order by park (U.S. followed by non-U.S.) […]