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Laura's National Park Sketches ( A - E )

This area named the APOSTLE ISLANDS is home for some of the Ojibwe people who live throughout the Great Lakes. According to their written and oral history, the Ojibwe were the original inhabitants of this area. In order to gain the materials they needed to survive, they traveled throughout the islands with their main village being Madeline Island, which is known as Moningwunakauning: “Home of the yellow breasted woodpecker.”

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Far West Texas

There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is BIG BEND…

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Colorado

The Red Rock Canyon area is located near the south rim of BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON National Park. It serves as a popular destination for anglers hoping to catch the legendary salmonfly hatch and various other insect hatches from June into late July. Hikers also enjoy this route as a more gradual alternative into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness Area over the other significantly steeper routes accessed from the south or north rims of the canyon.

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Northwestern Nebraska

AGATE FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT is located in the Niobrara River drainage in northwestern Nebraska. It was established to preserve and protect its significant Miocene epoch fossil deposits and to interpret its cultural importance as a meeting place for many native tribes. In addition to the fossils, unique natural resources in the park include its extensive native prairies, the Niobrara River and associated wetlands, and its scenic vistas and natural soundscapes.

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Cascade Mountain Range, Oregon

CRATER LAKE inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and one of the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range.

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Alaska

DENALI is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America’s tallest peak, 20,310′ Denali. Wild animals large and small roam un-fenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.

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Bradenton, Florida

Hernando De Soto is famous in Latin American history as the Spanish conquistador who joined Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of the Inca Empire, but he is also a critical player in American history as the first European to discover the Mississippi River. Located on Shaw’s Point, which is the general area historians believe was the landing place of De Soto’s 1539 expedition, DESOTO NATIONAL MEMORIAL commemorates De Soto’s landing in Florida and his northwestward expedition into North America. De Soto National Memorial is also an archeological site with artifacts and trails left behind by American Indians who guided De Soto’s expedition through Florida to the Mississippi.

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524 Miles in Upstate New York

NEW YORK’S CANALS established a transportation network which made New York the “Empire State’’ and the Nation’s premier commercial and financial center. New York’s canal system has been in continuous operation since 1825, longer than any other constructed transportation system in North America. The Corridor encompasses 4,834 square miles in 23 counties and is home to 3.2 million people.

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