The Journal of

Laura & Fred Jolly

It all started with a Ken Burns documentary, a couple of National Parks books, an Atlas, and a Dream. The rest is documented in this travel journal.

April 17, 2009

Our adventures together began back on 17-April-2009. We were both living in downtown Chicago just four blocks from each other, but each leading our own separate lives. And then it happened – a chance meeting on the red line train platform (Grand Avenue stop) where each of us was heading up to see the Cubs take on the Cardinals in

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2010 and 2011

In 2010 and 2011 we vacationed in Arizona, Hawaii, and Kentucky, among other places, choosing these locations so we could visit the National Parks there. Previous Next

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Saguaro NP-Tuscon Mountain District

March 1, 2010 — We spent a lovely day hiking around this beautiful desert landscape in the Tuscon Mountain Region of the Saguaro NP, otherwise known as the West Region of the park.  Icon of this area, the giant saguaro cactus stands up to 50 feet tall and can take 100 years to reach full height.  Here in this park,

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Saguaro NP-Rincon Mountain District

March 2, 2010 — Our second day in Saguaro NP, today we visited the Rincon Mountain District which is the east region of the park; east of Tuscon, AZ. We stopped in at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center to get some information and Laura’s NP stamp in her book before setting out on the 8-mile Cactus Forest Drive Loop.  From

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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

March 3, 2010 — Today was the kind of day we wished would never end…. After spending a couple of days in the Tuscon area visiting Saguaro NP, we headed a couple hours south and west to the Ajo [AH-hoe] Mountains on the U.S. border with Mexico. Here we found more strikingly beautifully Sonoran Desert landscape that is the Organ

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Hawai’i Volcanoes NP

March 23 & 24 — Hawai’i Volcanoes is one of two National Parks in the Hawaiian Islands, and since we can’t drive our RV here to visit them when we’re on our two-year road trip, we figured we’d better stop in during our trip to Hawai’i this year. This was our first stop on our 17-day trip visiting four of

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Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

March 25 — On the west coast of Hawaii’s ‘big island’ sits a waterfront compound that dates back to the 16th century.  Still preserved, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is one of Hawaii’s most sacred historical places. Before contact with the Europeans who found these islands, natives lived under a kapu’ (taboo) system.  Pu’uhonua o Honaunau was royal ground for the sacred chiefs who lived on

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Kaloko-Honokohau NHP

March 26 — On another historical site on the west coast of the ‘big island’ sits a couple of ancient Hawaiian settlements.  For hundreds of years, extended family groups of these Hawaiian natives learned to live here on the desolate landscape by developing unique farming techniques and by using the abundant ocean resources for fishing.  Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park (NHP) preserves and interprets traditional native Hawaiian

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Hawaii-Haleakala NP

March 31 — The first of two areas we visited in Haleakala was Kipahulu.  This is the area in the southeast section of this national park.  We had a nice afternoon of hiking the Pipiwai Trail.  This is an easy 3.7 miles round trip with an 800′ climb.  Along the way we passed the 184-foot waterfall at Makahiku, and wound our

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