We did it! We met our goal and visited all 59 of America’s beautiful, incredible, breathtakingly spectacular national parks! We visited them in the way we wanted to and spent as much time in them as we wanted to. Our shortest visit at a couple of the parks was just one day as seasonal weather dictated our access… our longest visit was more than a month as the sheer size of Yellowstone required it… and in the case of the Grand Canyon, we came back to it over and over and over again as the sheer wonder and beauty of the place demanded it. Two-and-a-half years… living in a motorhome… wow!
When asked what our favorite park was, Fred used to answer, “the next one,” for we were always anticipating what came next. But now that we’ve made our way through all of them, we both agree that it is, in fact, Grand Canyon National Park that is our favorite; it is easily the most grand thing we have or will ever see.
We will likely write more on what this trip meant to us and how it has changed us, but for now, we will share the little map I created at the beginning of our journey. It initially showed all 59 of the NP indicator pins red in color. With each National Park visit, I turned that pin from red to green so our blog readers could follow our progress. Well as you can see, they’re all green now — we hit all 59 of them!
In the years to come we expect Congress will continue to protect new lands and we’re betting some of the current park units will get an “upgrade” to a Capital-P Park(s). As this happens, we are committed to visiting these newly-appointed Parks, even if we have already visited them when they had a “lesser” ranking.
And so life goes… we will set our circus down someplace and settle in. I’m looking more forward to this than Fred is, but he knows I didn’t commit to being a “full-timer” living in an RV forever. Once we establish a new home in a new community, our wanderlust will surely not leave us and thus we will continue to travel in this, the greatest country on earth; the one that saw to it to protect its most treasured gifts, the very beautiful places we protect as national parks.
Here we are in the southern hemisphere somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The National Park of American Samoa — our 59th and final park.