• Theresa Simone

America's National Parks

Even though the summer's basically over, the National Parks are still a great traveling destination, though I don't know which ones you would be willing to visit in the winter. :)

I've only been to a few of our country's national parks. In the year 2000, my family took a long driving trip from our home in Oklahoma to a state park in Wyoming, and also to Devil's Tower and Grant Teton National Park in Wyoming. We then went to Glacier National Park, which is in the state of Montana, on Memorial Day weekend.

Glacier National Park, Montana

The park's visitor's center was still blocked and surrounded by snow in late May. After Glacier National Park, we went to the Big Horn Dam, and then we we drove through the Badlands in South Dakota on the way to Iowa for a family event.

Description of part of our trip: the first day, we drove all the way to Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming, arriving after dark had settled in, and put up our 7 person tent in windy weather, so windy my dad had to tie the tent to our van. I think the second day we arrived in Grand Teton under a heavy covering of fog which made it hard to see the mountains right away. The next morning, or during the previous night, we had some rain, making our campsite kind of wet, and leaving some moisture on our tent. Following that, I think we went on to Devil's Tower in another part of the state.

Devil's Tower, Wyoming

And next to Glacier National Park, which to me was the grandest of the parks that we saw.

An interesting note to keep this trip in perspective. I think we camped every night for the first week or so of your trip, having some moisture, or wind, some part of every day. At one camping site, I think the one we went to after visiting Glacier, someone in our family found a long log by a lake that had some bear paw markings! Watch out for those bears. Some campsites, by the way, tell you not to leave your food out to avoid baiting some wild animals. Do you want your campsite, and possibly yourself in your tent or vehicle, to suddenly be visited by an unwelcome visitor? Have fun, but keep safe.

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