Wednesday, September 30, 2009

America's Best Idea

From our trip to the Grand Canyon

PBS is running a wonderful series now called The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns. I missed Episodes one and two, but watched number three last night. It makes me want to read about John Muir, Stephen Mather, and Horace Albright. It want to jump in the car and drive to Yellowstone and Glacier. Ok.. not going to happen.. but it's made me think. What National Parks, Monuments, Historical sites have I been to? What would I like to see? Maybe see isn't the right word. Soak up, become a part of, get lost in... experience. Each one is so special. A gem in their own right.

Wish List:
Arches Park : Moab, UT
Acadia : Bar Harbor, ME
Bryce Canyon : UT
Crater Lake : OR
Denali : AK
Glacier : MT
Grand Teton : Moose, WY
Rocky Mountain National Park : CO
Zion : Springdale : UT

National Parks visited:
Grand Canyon : AZ
Saguaro National Park : AZ (I love cacti)

Favorite National Monuments and Historical sites over the years:
Alcatraz Island, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods, The Presidio, Sunset Crater Volcano, Wright Brother's Memorial, and a large part of Washington D.C.

Where have you been? What is your wish list? Where are your favorite spots?

Episode Four 1920 - 1933 : Going Home - is on PBS tonight (8pm EST) if you'd like to catch it. I'll be there. Mesmerized.


Holli said...

I'm a total sucker for National Park and ANYTHING Ken Burns. He was just at my place of employment (Museum of Science, Boston) doing a sneak peak at his latest series (National Parks) and was so gracious and intelligent and amazing. Our Founder, Brad Washburn, was instrumental in Denali National Park. You'll have to keep you eye out for he and his wife Barbara -- they make an appearance during the series.

Bloom fine art fotografi said...

I am so sad I missed this...I will most definatly watch tonite. Thank you Leigh, can't wait for this...I love PBS.
I have been to; Acadia, Grand Canyon. I have snorkled around the Nat. Parks in Tortola , St John and the Baths In the Virgin Islands...what an experience that was.The Arches, UT....I was pregnant with Auguste at the time and rubbed the red dirt on my belly...(it's an ancient Indian blessing for the unborn child) The arches is a magical place. I guess I am pretty lucky to live a stones throw from Glacier...I am just so grateful that there are a few of these untouched treasures in US. I would love to go to Yellowstone, Zion and Grand Teton.

dmoms said...

my list of "want to go" is very similar to yours. My son went on a trip a few years ago with another family - they visited all the national parks in Colorado. I am dying to see that red rock for myself.

misti said...

I watched the first night but forgot the past two nights. Plus, Nat'l Parks vs House...the hot British dude won. :)

I want to go to the backcountry parts of all of the parks, not the popular tourist destinations.

Kelly said...

So sad, I not been to any. Someday we dream of roadtripping out West as a family to take in all of these beautiful sights.

Elephant's Eye said...

Wrote about our Karoo Botanical Garden. We are blessed with National Parks, and still creating new ones for special areas that are conservation worthy.

Spring Lake Farm said...

Being from the east one of my favorite all time places is LeConte Lodge in the Great Smokey Mountains.

I've been out west also and loved it. There is no bluer sky! Although I must say I missed the green of trees.

Green Bean said...

We're working our way down a similar list. As a child, I went on an RV trip across the western US with my grandparents and family. I remember that trip more vividly and fondly than all the ones to resorts.

We took our kids to Zion last summer. Best trip EVER! Next summer, we're planning a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons with a stop over in Bryce on the way.

Jeannine said...

We just got back from a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our second. Gorgeous! Also been to: Yosemite, Muir Woods, Golden Gate National Rec Area, Alcatraz, D.C., Blue Ridge Parkway ... Yosemite is probably my favorite, though it's been years since I was there. I will never forget how big the sky was and how filled with stars ...

Happy Travels! (Did you know you can get a little national parks passport? You can get official stamps when you visit parks. Kind of silly, but I'm silly and I like it! ;)

Chiot's Run said...

I've been to almost all of them (except the ones in Oregon & Alask). When I was in high school we took 2 month long driving vacations out west, one year we covered the southern states, one year the northern states. We also drove up through New England on summer, but that was only a 2 week trip. We always visited the National Parks. Bryce Canyon was my favorite!

Mr Chiots really wants to see Mt Rushmore, so we hope to take a few weeks and take a driving tour of the northern states sometime soon.

The Cottage Comtesse said...

I've been to Yosemite and Grand Canyon at least twice each. We're headed to Zion and Bryce Canyon in a week and 1/2! Can't wait. My dream: Yellowstone, Glacier National Park...

Camie | Red Gate Gardens said...

Only been to two - Glacier and Yellowstone. But I'm in Glacier at least once a week - does that count for more?

Nancy said...

I had intentions of seeing this last night but forgot until it was nearly too late; only caught the last 30 minutes. I did check on Netflix and the entire series is available there. I'll be adding it to my list.

Been to: Yellowstone & Grand Tetons (several times), Rocky Mt. National Park (at least 2 or 3 times), Alcatraz, Golden Gate National Park, Redwood National,Jefferson Expansion Memorial (St. Louis Arch), Badlands & Mt. Rushmore. And I grew up just a stones throw from the Tallgrass National Park in KS (before it was a national park). Much more that I want to see and do though.

Sara said...

Hi Leigh,
I haven't been to many National Parks....but I have been to Rocky Mountain NP and Grand Canyon. Moab and Bryce canyon are only a few hours from sister was just there last weekend. She always comes home from there so full of's super pretty there! I hope you get to go to all the parks you've listed!! Take care,

jmdemartin said...

Wait -- what?? You mean to tell me I've been waiting for this Ken Burns film since April, and I've missed the last 3 nights of it?? I'm so sad! I watched the first one -- but thought they were on Sunday only! Sigh.
I've been wondering about how much interest in the Nat'l parks this will stir up, and if there will be a spike in visitors. I've been to Acadia, but can't wait for a chance to see Yellowstone, Yosemite, Canyonlands, Arches, Denali, Rocky Mountain etc. etc. etc....
Thanks for informing me that I'm missing out on the show!

Cliff W said...

Hi Beegirl (or may I call you Leigh?)!

I was only over your way twice - each time for a fortnight. The first time was the southwest and I managed to visit the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion and Yosemite. The bear "safes" in Yosemite are something I'll never forget.

The second time stateside, driving north along the western seaboard from SF to Seattle, I managed to visit Crater Lake. I'd learnt all about it in geography at school in England around 20 years earlier, so it was a bit of a pilgrimage and I was completely overwhelmed. Also visited the area around Mount St Helen's too - does that count?!? Would love to visit Yellowstone NP if I ever get the opportunity. Your country seems so full of natural beauty.

Were you ever in Europe yourself?

June said...

Oh, I'm loving this too. Here I go about my dad again, but thanks to ol' Grandpa Hickory, I have been to a lot of national parks. Watching this PBS series has made me so emotional. I am filled not only with a sense of belonging and pride but also with nostalgia for the family we four once were. It's almost like watching old home movies (only with really really exquisite photography and no brother pulling my hair and no daddy insisting we drive umpty-jillion miles before the next potty stop).

Aren't we lucky to get to visit our national parks this way? We'll all be inspired to get on the road soon and savor what our forebears so graciously fought for us to enjoy as our own.

Michelle said...

Well, just got back from 3rd trip there. You could go there your whole life and never run out of new things to find. Amazing.

Next on my list...Grand Canyon. I have never been...

I agree with you...being in these amazing places makes me want to read more, too. Just thinking about Muir roaming through these incredible, insane places on a donkey..?! What?! I want to know amazing.

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

Between you and me, we haver the whole series covered! (I saw #1) I've always wanted to visit more or the National parks...perhaps when we're retired.