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Today, the 25th of August, is National Parks Day. It is the birthday of the National Park Service. To honor it, I purchased my husband a Golden Age Pass that will allow him to get into the parks for free from now on. Actually, Alicia has been bugging me since he turned 62 to get him one. That is the age when you are eligible to get the pass. I had to order it for him online yesterday because on Monday the passes are going up to $80 from the $10 that they used to be. It still isn't too late for you to get yours. Since I ordered it online, it ended up costing $20 instead of $10, but that is still a lot better that $80. The great thing about this pass is that the entire car gets into the park for free as long as the Golden Age Pass holder is in the car. If you aren't old enough yet for the Golden Age Pass, there are other types of passes available as well. You can to to this site to find out about them. Do you know that there is actually a free pass for 4th graders? Also, if you don't qualify or can't afford any of the passes, there are free park entrance days! Here is the list:
January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 20: Presidents' Day
April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week
August 25: National Park Service Birthday
September 30: National Public Lands Day
November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend
Well, all of this talk about National Parks got us thinking about the ones we have been to, so today's Friday Fave's question is...
What is your favorite National Park?
Of course, since we live in Arizona, we have to list the Grand Canyon. I remember the first time I visited it, I was amazed at the grandeur of the wide expanse of the canyon and the colorful rocks. Looking at it, it still looked like a painting. I also worried about my children falling off the cliffs, so that pretty much is what dominated the trip. The Grand Canyon is definitely worth the trip to see such amazing views and rock formations.
I grew up in Clovis, CA. There is a sign right on the main street of Clovis (Clovis Ave.) that says that Clovis is the Gateway to the Sierras. AS the gateway to the Sierra's, it is also the gateway to Yosemite National Park. That is the National Park that my heart belongs to. My dad drove a tour bus there one summer, so I feel like that makes it even more special to me. But, really, the park is gorgeous with its meadows and waterfalls and trees and trails. Thank you John Muir for finding it!
Apparently, you are allowed to use the Golden Age Pass in National Forests, too. One National Forest in Arizona with a really cool feature is Tonto National Forest. That feature is the Tonto Natural Bridge. It is awesome and a fairly short, but slightly steep and strenuous. But, I made it, so it isn't that bad! The geology of the naturally formed bridge is fascinating and the travertine rocks are beautiful.
In Southern Utah there is beautiful Zion's National Park. I remember going there when I was 16 years old and the thing I remember the most is the big rock that you can walk on a trail under. The rock constantly has water dripping out of it. It is called Weeping Rock! It is so awesome! Alicia loves this park. She says, "My favorite national park is Zion. There's so many breathtaking views and hikes for people of all skill levels. Plus it has sentimental value as the first place Adrian and I went camping together." Here is their adorable picture. They are on top of a point in Zion's called Angels Landing.
Another park that is way across the country from us is Niagara Falls! What an amazing place! I could hardly believe the power that was in the Niagara River that you get to kind of walk along really closely, then suddenly there is that wide expanse of falls that is amazing! Lindsey and Austin just went to the Canadian side when they were back east. They got to take the boat ride towards the falls and also go behind the falls. You get very wet when you get near them.
Well, those are just a few of our favorite National Parks. Tell us about your favorites! Now that my husband is getting his Golden Age Pass, we may be visiting a lot more!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!