We are back from our 12 night Grand Circle Road trip and it was amazing. The passport has lots of new stamps. We visited 7 National Parks, state parks, NRA’s and National Monuments!
Some random thoughts…
My top 5 parts of the trip:
- Zion National Park-It looks like what you would imagine the Garden of Eden to look like. I was amazed at how much green and water was in this desert environment.
- Bryce Canyon National Park and Scenic Byway 12-Amazing! Like walking and driving in a fairy tale. A photographers dream.
- Mesa Verde National Park-Quiet! Intimate. The best service and the best food/restaurant (Metate Room.) The cliff dwellings are beautiful and so well taken care of.
- Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon-Thank you Navajo Nation for sharing these with us. As Craig said “This is a magical place Patricia.”
- Grand Canyon National Park-because it is the Grand Canyon! We saw lots of Elk, Mule Deer, Ravens, Mules and a Big Horn Sheep ran through a crowd of tourists! It is so well run and like a small town. There was even a Ringtail Cat at dinner in the El Tovar Dining Room.
I am so grateful Craig and I got to spend our 19th anniversary experiencing the Grand Circle. Our country is so amazing! Get out and see it please. You will not be sorry. There were tons of tourists from China, France, Germany and Spain, but very few Americans. Go Find Your Park!
Have you seen the great PBS show The National Parks: America’s Best Idea? It was a 6 episode series produced by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan that came out several years ago. You can rent the DVDs from your library or watch it on Netflix. Craig and I spent some time watching the episodes and it made us want to see our National Parks even more!
I especially loved the story of Margaret and Edward Gehrke from Lincoln, Nebraska. For 30 years the Gehrkes traveled to every National Park that existed at the time by train and car. They started in 1915 at the Grand Canyon. Margaret wrote about the trips in her journals and Edward took many photographs. Margaret put the pictures in scrapbooks, and they were given to the Nebraska State Historical Society. I have some of their photographs on my National Park Pinterest page.
Here is one from Rocky Mountain National Park-their favorite. (From PBS.)