National Parks

Ken Burns’ special on PBS is one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen, and I have only seen the first episode.

It is a great story about the creation of the national parks. I had no idea that Yellowstone was the first national park in the world! The history and stories that Burns tells are wonderful, and you can really capture the story behind each of the parks.

If you missed the first episode Sunday, you should definitely catch the rest of them. New episodes are on at 8 PM every night this week.

His Baseball series and Civil War series were both phenomenal. I’ll definitely have to check this out.

His Baseball series and Civil War series were both phenomenal. I'll definitely have to check this out.

The books are both awesome as well.

Think it comes back on at 12.

Great documentary about how our National Parks were created. It was awesome to hear how the explorers described the thermal features in Yellowstone…I knew exactly what they were talking about.

Great episode, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. It comes on again Monday at 8:00 on PBS.

I visited Yosemite, and Sequoia/Kings Canyon a few weeks ago. All three parks were great but I only saw a little bit of Kings Canyon. Yosemite was awesome except for the wildfires that interfered with part of our plans. Can’t wait to go back. I did hike to the top of Half Dome though and feared for my life climbing up the cables!

Our National Parks are great. I have been out to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon a couple of times. The beauty is amazing. I have also been up to Maine to see Arcadia National Park on the Maine coast.

Great episode, I've been looking forward to this for a while. It comes on again Monday at 8:00 on PBS.

I visited Yosemite, and Sequoia/Kings Canyon a few weeks ago. All three parks were great but I only saw a little bit of Kings Canyon. Yosemite was awesome except for the wildfires that interfered with part of our plans. Can’t wait to go back. I did hike to the top of Half Dome though and feared for my life climbing up the cables!

Congratulations on making it to the top of Half Dome. I’m too much of a chicken to go up those things.

I get the heebie-jeebies just hiking the four mile trail from Glacier Point down to the valley. :smile:

I’ve been to [B]17 [/B]of them, and they are all good. I rate the ones I’ve been to in this order (I may rate them differently tomorrow):

1 - Yellowstone
2 - Yosimite
3 - Glacier
4 - St Johns Island (US Virgin Islands)
5 - Grand Canyon
6 - Bryce Canyon
7 - Grand Teton
8 - Zion
9 - Olympic
10 - Mesa Verde
11 - Rocky Mountain NP
12 - Sequoia
13 - The Smokies (rated lower because it’s local)
14 - Acadia
15 - Kings Canyon
16 - Shenandoah
17 - Everglades (by far, the most disappointing)

CPA_Niner, I’m supposed to go climb the dome at Yosimite next summer (been there 3 times, but never climbed the dome). How tough are those cables? Of those of us currently going, the youngest will be 50 and the oldest almost 60. Are the odds against us?

Everyone should make it a point to visit as many National Parks as you can. We are damn lucky to have them.

CPA_Niner, I'm supposed to go climb the dome at Yosimite next summer (been there 3 times, but never climbed the dome). How tough are those cables? Of those of us currently going, the youngest will be 50 and the oldest almost 60. Are the odds against us?

I know I’m not CPA, but my thought is you guys will be fine. Definitely bring shoes with grip…and start early. Was coming down to the valley way too late one time because a friend had a fear of heights coming down from the top.

If someone’s severely out of shape, that person should probably skip the dome climbing portion.

Good site (because of the picture :smile:):

[URL]http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/half-dome/cables-tips.htm[/URL]

Great job Over40. That is an impressive travel resume. I’m a sucker fot everything Ken Burns does. Baseball, The Civil War, Jazz, World War II (was that the title?), and now this–are all outstanding. I will be watching every night, all my other shows be damned. Here is my list. I think it is great the awareness this documentary will bring to the conservation of these areas.

Here is my list of National Park Visits. I confess I’m mainly doing this list for my own selfish purposes of recollection and braging.

  1. Yosemite
  2. Grand Canyon
  3. Rocky Mountain
  4. Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  5. Acadia
  6. Mesa Verde
  7. Great Smokey Mountains
  8. Saguaro
  9. Shenandoah
  10. Cuyahoga Valley

Other interior dept travels

Antietam NMP
Baltimore-Washington Pkwy
Big Cypress Preserve
Blue Ridge Pkwy
Boston NHP
Cape Hatteras NS
Coronado NM
Cowpens NB
Deleware NSR
Fort Raleigh NHS
Fort Sumter NM
Gettysburg NMP (A must see)
Golden Gate NRA
Harpers Ferry NHP
Jefferson NEM (St. Louis Arch)
Kings Mountain NMP
Lackawanna HV
Lewis & Clark NHP
Moores Creek NB
National Mall
Niagara Falls NHA
Pennsylvania Avenue NHS
Point Reyes NS
Statue of Liberty
Washington Monument
Wright Brothers Nat Mem

Here is my list of National Park Visits. I confess I'm mainly doing this list for my own selfish purposes of recollection and braging.
  1. Yosemite
  2. Grand Canyon
  3. Rocky Mountain
  4. Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  5. Acadia
  6. Mesa Verde
  7. Great Smokey Mountains
  8. Saguaro
  9. Shenandoah
  10. Cuyahoga Valley

Black Canyon was pretty awesome, not many people visit that Park.

Burns is a great filmmaker. He is a master at assembling the best footage in order to elicit a genuine emotional response. A lot of filmmakers can make a pretty picture, or write a good script, but few can make the audience FEEL like Burns does. And he does it with historical data! Not new, original stories. Pretty amazing.

His documentary on Thomas Jefferson is pretty sweet, if you enjoy late 18th century politics.

[B]Great job Over40[/B]. That is an impressive travel resume..........

Here is my list of National Park Visits. I confess I’m mainly doing this list for my own [B]selfish purposes of recollection and braging. [/B]

I would never “have my own selfish purposes of recollection and bragging” myself. Not me. :shades:

BTW, that’s quite an impressive list you have too.

I've been to [B]17 [/B]of them, and they are all good. I rate the ones I've been to in this order (I may rate them differently tomorrow):

1 - Yellowstone
2 - Yosimite
3 - Glacier
4 - St Johns Island (US Virgin Islands)
5 - Grand Canyon
6 - Bryce Canyon
7 - Grand Teton
8 - Zion
9 - Olympic
10 - Mesa Verde
11 - Rocky Mountain NP
12 - Sequoia
13 - The Smokies (rated lower because it’s local)
14 - Acadia
15 - Kings Canyon
16 - Shenandoah
17 - Everglades (by far, the most disappointing)

Nice list. I enjoyed the Everglades quite a bit, though not quite as scenic as some of the others, more about wildlife. Did you make it to the nearby Big Cypress preserve? Must have seen about 10 alligators at a single stop, very dark water and some creepy cypress trees draping overhead, very cool.

There are several on your list I still want to make it to, particularly Acadia, Yosemite (though I’m not a big fan of the huge crowds), and Yellowstone. I’d rank the ones I’ve been to:

  1. Olympic
  2. Glacier
  3. Carlsbad Caverns
  4. Arches
  5. Sequoia
  6. Rocky Mountain
  7. Everglades
  8. Great Smoky
  9. Petrified Forest
    10.Grand Canyon (as I said, not a fan of crowds, incredible views but a little over-hyped in my opinion).
  10. Great Sand Dunes (younger when I saw it)

Olympic was far and away the best for me. Wildlife, varied habitats, great hikes, and amazing spectacles.

Surprised the Guilford Courthouse up in Greensboro hasn’t made anyone’s list yet. It’s pretty cool, especially if you’re a history buff. I lived within walking distance of it for 3 years. Toured it a number of times, and it never got old.

I got a job frying chicken in Glacier one summer. That job was freaking sweet. Slack work, always something really cool to do and someone around to do it with. Days off were amazing. And if you manage to not flake they give you a pretty fat end of summer bonus.
New grads might want to think it over.

And undergrads, I’m pretty sure this is dead now , but, UNCG used to take a couple van loads of students on the road for a month or so every summer, make a big loop, camp out. They’d hit the big parks and other places. You got 6 Geography credit hours, 3 human and 3 physical. 2 Easy 300 level courses for only 800 extra bucks above tuition. If you attended a public university in NC in the '90s it was far and away the best summer school deal out there, I think. Anyway, now it’s dead I think. But still, something like this has got to be out there. Find it and knock out some of your all university requirements while having the time of your life.

[QUOTE=Over40NINER;433797]

CPA_Niner, I’m supposed to go climb the dome at Yosimite next summer (been there 3 times, but never climbed the dome). How tough are those cables? Of those of us currently going, the youngest will be 50 and the oldest almost 60. Are the odds against us?[/QUOTE]

I didn’t find the cables to be the toughest part, the toughest part for me was the hike itself. I’m in good shape but the hike kicked my butt, it was up, up and up! I did the hike in 10hrs which included about two hours on top of half dome. I would say give it a shot, if you can make it past the waterfalls and still feel pretty good then I say go for it. Once you past the waterfalls it flattens out by the Merced River but then you are hiking up through the woods and sometimes those trails seem never ending. I’ll make the following suggestions:

  1. Take plenty of water (a gallon is recommended), me and my buddy both ran out on the way down and if you are going in the summer you might need more. I went the day after labor day (great time to go as far as crowds are concerned, although the waterfalls were not very spectacular at that time). Hydrate well before the hike and top off any water bottles at the water fountains at the bottom. You might want to take some water filters or pills you can use to disinfect the river water as a backup, plus they would be easy to pack.

  2. Start early, we hit the trails by 8:30, would have liked to have started earlier but we had an hour drive to get to the park. I believe it’s recommended to start by 7:00.

  3. Don’t hike on the weekends. We hiked on Tuesday and we had no problems with the crowds; I’ve seen photos of crowds on the chains on the weekends and I wouldn’t want any part of that.

  4. Take a good pair of gloves to use on the chains. I had a pair of garden gloves but they really didn’t work very well. My friend had some sort of rubber glove that seemed to work well for him. Gloves are often left behind but I had no desire to use any of them. Leather gloves would probably work well too.

  5. Have a good pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, you want something with a good grip, I wouldn’t trust walking or running shoes.

I think if you leave early enough your people should be able to make it, that way you’ll be able to take plenty of breaks, we were taking a lot of photos going up so it took us a while to get to the top. I agree with Norester, the photo ops at the top are great, especially if you decide to walk out on the diving board!

  1. Tetons
  2. Mount Rainier
  3. Yellowstone
  4. Shenandoah
  5. Olympic
  6. North Cascades
  7. Smokies
  8. Congree

Mt. Baker is my favorite place I’ve been but it’s not a national park. The Tetons top my list because of the amazing hiking. For all of you that have been to Shenandoah, what time of the year did you go? During peak leaf season there is no other place I would rather be.

Surprised the Guilford Courthouse up in Greensboro hasn't made anyone's list yet. It's pretty cool, especially if you're a history buff. I lived within walking distance of it for 3 years. Toured it a number of times, and it never got old.

One of my favorite places in Greensboro.

It’s really interesting if you noticed how far they moved the cannons. What was the “battlefield” has since been moved elsewhere in the park, and a lot of the fighting took place in what is now outside the park and commercial/residential areas.

Either way, anyone who likes Revolutionary War history should take a trip out to my old stomping grounds and see the monument to the Bugle Boy at Summerfield Elementary and his grave site in Oak Ridge.