America’s national parks are a treasure we can all enjoy, and as a thank you to the 280 million visitors that visit our national parks every year, the National Parks Service has declared several Fee Free Days in 2014. Upcoming dates to remember are:
* April 19 Opening Weekend of National Park Week
* August 25 National Park Service Birthday
* September 27 National Public Lands Day
* November 11 Veterans Day
If you are planning to visit multiple national parks, a good bargain is the $80 Annual Pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other federal lands, more than 2,000 in all. And don’t forget, if you are age 62 or older you can get a $10 lifetime pass.
An excellent guide to the national parks is the e-book Your Guide to the National Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald. The book provides step-by-step itineraries, kid-friendly activities, and all of the most popular ranger programs to help plan your vacation. Also included are thousands of hotels, restaurants, and attractions outside the parks themselves, as well as eleven suggested road trips that make it the ultimate dashboard companion.
And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to actually work in these natural wonderlands, check out Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks by Andrea Lankford, who spent twelve years working as a ranger at national parks. Her adventures as she chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea, pursued bad guys on horseback, and dealt with everything from thick-headed tourists to bears and rattlesnakes makes for some great reading.
Thanks to all of you who e-mailed or left blog and Facebook condolences over the loss of our friend Shar. It’s been very hard on all of us who loved her. Terry and I spent yesterday with Jim, not doing much except just having some quiet time to reflect on her life, talk about the good times, and yes, share a few tears too. Today our mutual friend Lyle is coming down and will ride back up to the mountains with Jim as he begins the healing process.
Today is your last chance to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed and will be deleted. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination.