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11 #FindYourPark Moments to Brighten Your Day

11 #FindYourPark Moments to Brighten Your Day
Celebrate National Park Week with inspiration from The Far Green Country!
By: Eli & Kelly Pyke

9 months. 
15 thousand miles. 
22 national parks!

We’re here to share 11 #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque moments to brighten your day! With National Park Week right around the corner (April 18-26), we invite you to join us on a journey down memory lane with our travels in our Winnebago Adventurer. We hope these photos light up your screen and mind, inspiring a future #FindYourPark adventure! 

Knowing that most of us are spending a lot of time at home right now, we highly suggest checking out Park Activities You Can Do from the Comfort of Your Home, and as always, it’s important to “know before you go.” Please be sure to check out nps.gov for the most up-to-date information about a specific park before you visit.

Our collaboration with Winnebago is a natural fit, as this American-based motorhome manufacturer is passionate about, and dedicated to, helping people of all walks of life get out into nature and experience the treasures of our national parks. They have partnered with National Park Foundation (NPF) to help people understand that there are #Parkslesstraveled, meaning not all parks are called “national parks.” Many go by various designations, such as “monuments,” “seashores,” “historical sites,” and “recreation areas.” There are more than 400 locations managed by the National Park Service (NPS), and all have the same dedication to conservation, preservation, education, and invitation – now that’s a lot of –ations!

The following photo essay is your invitation to celebrate National Park Week in your own way …

 

1. Mesa Verde 

Adventurer next to Cliff Palace View sign

Learning about the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here long before Europeans came connects us with the commonalities of all humanity throughout the ages. Imagine what life would be like in a city built on a cliff by touring one of the many cliff dwellings!

Pyke family at Mesa Verde Cliffs

 

2. Big Bend

Adventurer driving down road with mountains and blue sky in background

Named after the “big bend” of the Rio Grande River, as it defines the border between America and Mexico, this sprawling desert park hosts many hidden treasures for the finding. From hot springs to desert peaks to fascinating history.

Orange kayak in Rio Grande River surrounded by mountains

 

3. Everglades

Adventurer driving over bridge in Everglades

One of our big hopes in visiting Everglades National Park was to see alligators in the wild.  We saw more than we ever imagined!

Alligator in grass with mouth open

 

4. Dry Tortugas

Adventurer parked near water at sunset

Home to the historic Fort Jefferson, this remote tropical island is more than just a jewel of turquoise blue waters and white sand beaches (could you ask for more?). It tells the stories of early maritime trade in the Caribbean and offers some of the best snorkeling in Florida.

Blue sky and water of Dry Tortugas

 

5. Great Smoky Mountains

Dakota walking towards Adventurer in Great Smoky Mountains

The stories of the “mountain people” who settled the Great Smoky Mountains are heart-wrenching. Evidence of their communities and hard work are on display in the midst of forested hills and verdant valleys in this quintessential national park.

Adventurer parked in large field near trees

 

6. Badlands

Adventurer driving through the colorful mountains of the Badlands

Amidst a desolate landscape, the geology of Badlands National Park paints brilliant displays of reds, yellows, and oranges, and provides the chance to wonder at the erosive power of water carving through this immense terrain.

Grill connected to exterior of Adventurer

 

7. Devils Tower

Adventurer next to Devils Tower National Monument

Renowned for its towering monolith, Devils Tower National Monument attracts rock climbers and casual travelers alike. We enjoyed both scrambling on boulders and strolling the leisurely paved walking path that circumnavigates the monolith.

Adventurer next to Devils Tower National Monument with stars in sky at night 

8. Yellowstone

Adventurer parked next to river

When we want to see an abundance of large North American wildlife, such as wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, elk, and moose, we head for Yellowstone National Park.  Though shared with more than 4 million visitors annually, the park is big enough to find your own wilderness experience - if you’re willing to don some hiking boots and get out on the trails!

Grizzly bear in grass in Yellowstone National Park

 

9. Grand TetonAdventurer parked on side of road in Grand Teton National Park

The mountains at Grand Teton National Park were made famous in part by the renowned photographer, Ansel Adams. Walking in his footsteps, we took our own photos in front of this stunning mountain range, both from the classic Mormon Row vantage points and the peaceful waters of the Snake River.

Adventurer sounded by yellow grass and tall mountains with barn in far distance

 

10. Craters of the Moon

Bright sunset above Adventurer in green field

In 1969, astronauts from Apollo 14 visited Craters of the Moon National Monument to train for their upcoming space missions to the moon. This volcanic landscape not only teaches us the geology of the earth on which we live, but also provides many opportunities for spelunking and squeezing through tight spaces!

Pyke family descending down metal stairs into cave in Craters of the Moon National Monument

 

11. Mount Rainier

Adventurer driving through snow capped mountains

Few national parks allow visitors to drive as close to glaciers as at Mount Rainier National Park. Our Winnebago Adventurer did great climbing up to 6,400 feet elevation, where we enjoyed incredible views and hiking trails at the Sunrise Visitor Center.

Isabelle sitting in child hiking backpack

These are just 11 of the 22 national parks we visited on our trip, and we have so many more images and stories to share in the days and weeks to come. Much of the footage will be showcased in our upcoming documentary film, The Far Green Country: At Road’s End, coming out near the end of 2020. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the most current updates on our travels and upcoming releases.  

Be Bound for Adventure.
Be Bound by the W.

Lit Flying W and Winnebago Adventurer with mountains and trees in background