National Parks Visited

  2014-Grand Teton and Yellowstone

2015-Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Acadia, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon

    

Future:

2016-Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas

2017-Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree

2018-Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon (planned so far!)

Parkitecture in the National Parks

Parkitecture is an architectural style that developed in the early and middle 20th century in the National Park Service. The NPS wanted to create buildings that worked in harmony with the natural environment and historic surroundings.  There are a lot of elements in common with the Arts and Crafts movement- for example architects used a lot of native wood and stone. The Parkitecture style can be found in many National Park structures like entrances, lodges, and visitor centers. Many of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I really love the buildings in our National  Parks designed by architects like Mary Colter and Robert Reamer. The Desert View Watchtower in the Grand Canyon National Park and the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone are amazing. It is part of the National Park experience to stay at one of the amazing lodges like the Ahwahnee, the Bryce Canyon Lodge or the Wawona Hotel. I will never forget my first stay at the Old Faithful Inn and our visit to the Crow’s Nest!

I am excited to get a picture whenever I see the entrance signs to the parks, and the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance of Yellowstone is beautiful. 

Have fun exploring when you visit our parks and take plenty of pictures of the great PARKitecture.


National Parks Adventure – IMAX

I just wanted to remind you all that the new National Parks Adventure movie is out in IMAX theaters. We are going to see it next month and I am really excited for it. It looks great! It is narrated by Robert Redford and has been getting great reviews. Let me know what you think if you see it.

Smash Books For Memory Keeping

 

I was trying to think of a way to keep our ticket stubs, park and hotel maps and trail guides that would not take up a lot of space. Then I read about Smash Books. Since Craig and I want to travel around full time in an RV soon, we are trying to get rid of a lot of our “stuff.” We have been going through books, clothing, prints and picture frames and selling, giving away or donating them. We would like to keep some memories though. 

  

Smash Books are like an expanding scrap book with plenty of pre decorated pages and pockets. You just glue in what you like on the pages or slip guides or maps in the pockets. There are different designs like “International” or “Wedding” with themes. We found several on sale at Marshalls and TJMaxx for $3.99 and $4.99. Great! Easy to store and plenty of room to add to.


  


Now we can refer back to our National Park maps, hiking routes and guides, hotel maps and planning scrap pages. I can check what cabin number we had on a past trip, see what prices were and remember places we ate. What do you like to save from your trips? How do you store everything?   

 

Queens Garden/Navajo Loop Hike-Bryce Canyon National Park

Najavo Loop Trailhead

The Queens Garden and Navajo Loop combination is a great hike when you visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The combination is about 3 miles round trip. Most people start at Sunrise Point and the Queen’s Garden Trailhead. The views from the rim overlooks at Bryce are amazing, but you really want to get down into the Hoodoos and walk on the canyon floor. It is truly like walking around in a fairytale!

Navajo Loop Trail

Bryce Canyon Floor

The colors change during the day with the sun, so you will want to bring your camera to capture your hike. It can be hot (even in the fall) so we always carry plenty of water and hats on our hikes. Remember, you are at a high elevation. You can walk right up to the edge at some points- be careful. I loved the narrow Wall Street section and the switchbacks at the end. Enjoy, and let us know how you like the hike.

Loop

Bryce Canyon  Bryce