Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quest Fulfilled

I recently visited Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Voyageurs was my 46th US National Park. This is significant because there are 46 National Parks in the 48 contiguous states. I have now been to every National Park in the 48 contiguous states! This has been a quest of mine for several years. It has taken me eighteen years from my first visit to Mammoth Cave National Park in June 1991 to my visit to Voyageurs National Park in July 2009. In the future, I will see a handful of the remaining twelve National Parks and repeat several of my favorites. I will never be finished visiting National Parks and other units in the system, but now I can relax and know I have completed a worthwhile quest.
You may wonder why I will not be seeing the other twelve parks. The reason is simple: it is impractical. I doubt I will ever be in American Samoa or the American Virgin Islands. The two parks in Hawaii are quite doable, as are Denali and Glacier Bay in Alaska. Some of the Alaska parks are doable with a bit of work, but others require being flown in by a bush pilot and then having him come back for you. I am a day hiker, not a backpacker.

In the future, I will be writing individual posts about many of the National Park.

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