9 NATIONAL PARKS (NOT ONE OF THE MAJOR 59) YOU SHOULDN’T MISS

Did you know that there are 412 national park areas out there? A lot of people have a bucket list item of visiting the 59 main national parks like Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yosemite, but ever since learning that there are so many more, we’ve decided to upgrade that bucket list item to visiting all 412.

We are still a long way off, but we’re starting to chip away at the list. We’ve enjoyed exploring some of the lesser known parks because they are typically far less crowded and you can easily see most of them in a day or two. Here are 9 that we’ve visited that you shouldn’t miss.

 

White Sand Dunes National Monument, New Mexico

 

This is easily one of our favorites. Walk, hike, or sled on what seems to be endless rolling hills of white sand. It’s a great site for photographers and you can see more about our visit here.

Pro Tip: Avoid visiting in the summer, since it gets brutally hot.


Cabrillo National Monument, California

While living in San Diego for a year, we had a lot of fun exploring Cabrillo National Monument. You can go tide pooling, check out the lighthouse, or enjoy amazing views of the city.

 

Tide pooling at Cabrillo National Monument in California

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ONE RV ADVENTURE TO HAVE WITH YOUR KIDS IN EVERY STATE BEFORE THEY GROW UP

Image via Flickr/H. Micheal Miley

 

Alabama

Go to Space Camp. Rocket scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun wanted a place to inspire kids about space travel, and the result was Space Camp, where kids participate in simulated missions, experience what gravity feels like on the moon, and spin themselves silly on the multi-axis trainer.

 

Alaska

Go dogsledding. Whether you want to see the northern lights, explore Denali National Park or visit a glacier, get there by dogsled. The cold air in your face as you glide across the snow…there’s nothing else like it. Mush!

 

Arizona

Camp out in the Grand Canyon. But don’t stare at it for five minutes and then wonder, “Now what?” There are plenty of wonders waiting to be discovered inside the canyon. Climb down and explore, then spend the night under the stars at Mather Campground.

 

Arkansas

Dig for diamonds. Visit Crater of Diamonds State Park to find your own gemstones. It’s the only diamond-producing site in the world that is open to the public, so start digging!

 

California

 

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HISTORY AND BEAUTY IN THE SOUTHWEST

 

 

It’s safe to say fall is on the way out and winter is just around the corner. Most of the leaves have disappeared and the weather hasn’t been able to make up it’s mind. One day we will be wearing t-shirts and then the next day we are bundled in warm coats and gloves!

 

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FROM ROCK BOTTOM TO SKY HIGH

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”

–J K Rowling

 

 

Into each life a little rain must fall; an adage frequently, and seemingly somewhat flippantly, spoken by those not currently employing the use of a heavy duty umbrella to deflect, not “a little rain,” but a monsoon. Dawn Wilson was caught in such a monsoon and it lead her to recreate the life she had always imagined.

 

Dawn Wilson grew up in the southern part of New Jersey. She was an active, outdoor kid who was a lover of all animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Photography was an interest of hers as well and something she studied and took workshops on but, by the time it came down to actually declaring a college major, Dawn went with ‘practical’ and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Rowan University. She moved to Philadelphia and worked in publishing while earning a Master’s degree in Marketing from Temple University. Her childhood desires had changed and she was now consumed with climbing the corporate ladder and enjoying the economic fruits of her hard work. She had new goals now: big house, great cars and lots of exotic travel destinations. She and her live-in partner Aeric strove for the golden ring and worked very hard at reaching it.

 

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THE AMAZING COLORS OF COLORADO

According to locals this has been an unusual Colorado fall. Warmer temperatures stayed through late October and the leaves hung around a bit longer on the trees. One woman even told me she can’t remember the last time she wore shorts in October. We soaked in all the sunshine and color as we explored southern Colorado.

 

 

Up in the mountains, not too far from Salida, is a gorgeous campground nestled among the mountains and along the Arkansas River called Helca Junction. It’s a primitive campground without amenities but who needs amenities when you got gorgeous views and your own bed, kitchen, and bathroom, in the RV. 😉

The Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation area is one of the most popular white water rafting and kayaking locations in the United States. The season appeared to be over for water sport but we still dipped our toes in….BRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

 

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