Slow Travel Through the National Parks
In 2010 281,303,769 visitors swept through the 394 National Parks this nation (and its surrounding areas such as Puerto Rico) has to offer. Every state in the United States has one, with the exception of Delaware. An annual pass costs $80 and it’s well worth the price.
In just three days we have visited three different national parks (we did this all very slowly, honest. They are very close to one another!). And I must tell you we beam at the rangers in those booths when we flash our annual pass that Husband graciously paid for. He was wise. A seven-day pass to just one park costs $25-30. So as we breeze past the pre-paid booths, we smile, knowing yet another fabulous educational program awaits us.
The simplicity of it is astounding. The signage is always informative with lots of pictures, maps and guides. The rangers are friendly (one of them at the Grand Canyon admitted he passed his phone interview by smartly answering the question: “What are you going to say to tourists when the Canyon is filled with fog and they can see nothing?” “It is Nature’s cycle,” he replied. I smiled. Yes, it’s Nature’s cycle.)
So when the rain pelted our heads on the way to the car after devouring an amazing meal at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, we knew the sky would clear soon. On the way back to our hotel, we were rewarded with two mole deer staring at us as we trolled past in our rental car.
To all you rangers and National Park Service folks, we say thank you. You are beautiful in every way. The cost of admission may be eighty bucks, but the value of experiences like these are priceless.