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IF YOU ARE LOOKING for the ultimate vacation experience, try hiking through the National Parks in the United States.  The sights and sounds and overall wonder of them all will change your life and recharge your senses forever.  Just be sure to choose your fashion accessories carefully, to keep you cozy in cold climes and looking great in warm ones.

 

Perhaps the best way to get out into the land and really experience it first hand is to hike your way through one or more of the spectacular National Parks.  I have a friend who some time ago made it a lifetime goal to hike all the National Parks, but despite enormous effort, she has yet to get any place near that lofty goal.  This is a big, big system!

Understand that there are 58 National Parks in the system, which is preserved by the United States National Park Service.  The Parks are incredibly varied, from Yellowstone National park with its explosive water geysers to the spectacular giant trees of Sequoia.

                                                   Your Parks
And all of it belongs to you.  This is the amazing thing about the National Park Service, a federal agency established August 25th, 1916, charged with the responsibility of overseeing a total land system that today encompasses about 85 million acres.

  • It was the first time in recorded history that any nation had taken huge parcels of land and declared them the sole possession of the people. These Parks are not corporation owned, or landed aristocracy owned, but United States citizen-owned.  That means you.

 

HIKING IS NOT AS SIMPLE (OR AS EASY) AS MANY MAY THINK.  YOU HAVE TO GET THE RIGHT GEAR, STUDY YOUR GUIDEBOOKS, AND REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.  MAKING IT FASHIONABLE AND FUN IS HELPED BY GETTING THE RIGHT FASHION ACCESSORIES, TOO.  LOOK AT THESE:

 

  • Plaid hat scarf set.  Just right for high mountain treks!

 

                                              Death Valley 

DEATH VALLEY, WHICH STRADDLES California and Nevada, is the driest and hottest park, with rocks sculptured by erosion, along with fabulously luminous sand dunes and lush oases. Where would Hollywood be without this park that formed the location-basis for so many great western movies?

Then, there is Grand Teton in Wyoming. Here the peaks of the Teton Range make one of the strongest geological statements of the Rockies.  You think Switzerland is unbeatable?  Come see what’s right here at home: Glorious mountains, crystal streams, back country trails and wetlands that are home to moose, deer, elks and all kinds of birds. 

You might say that the National Parks are living organisms, not immune to the changes taking place on the earth.  That means that if you want to see some of the parks in their historically majestic grandeur, you better get to see them soon.  

                                           Glacier National

Glacier National Park in Montana, for example, is about to turn 100 but its ice fields are rapidly receding. It’s hard to say if that’s because of natural phenomena or if it’s human caused, but either way, the its magnificent geological features of this place the indigenous Blackfeet Indians called the “backbone of the earth” are rapidly fading! 

The scenery and wildlife here are extravagant. A parade of waterfalls greets motorists at Weeping Wall.  The vistas here are unbelievable.  You can see the Park comfortably by driving along a two-lane road that winds its way through the vast wilderness,  or take the advice of experts and lace up a pair of boots and sample one or more of its 700 miles of hiking trails. What a vacation!

OF COURSE, YOU’LL NEED MORE THAN JUST HIKING BOOTS TO COMFORTABLY OUTFIT YOU FOR GLACIER NATIONAL. HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS:

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, July 26th, 2010


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