Monday, April 26, 2010

Parks, Plans, and Pencils

Grand Canyon Facts, Arizona Colours, Timeless Wonder

Image from Flickr.  Grand Canyon. 

I hate shopping for shoes or dresses. When I’m forced to go clothes shopping out of necessity the goal is to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Turn me loose in a bookstore, however, and that’s another story. I did pretty well this time – I only bought 4 of the 8 books I wanted. The others will have to wait.

National Geographic’s Complete National Parks of the United States was a little on the expensive side, but I think it was worth the price. It features “400+ parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, scenic trails, recreation areas, and seashores” organized by region. It doesn’t appear to have any of the national wildlife refuges but it does list wild and / or scenic rivers. I’ve been looking through it and arm-chair traveling.

I think for my road trip this summer, I will bounce around the Southwest region (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) hitting as many of the parks as I can. I’ll drive straight to Grand Canyon first, since I want to make sure I have plenty of time to see that one, and then go wherever the road takes me. There are national monuments I’ve never heard of that contain hundreds of petroglyphs (Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico) or ancient cliff dwellings (Tonto National Monument), historic trails that follow the route of Spanish settlers from Nogales, Arizona to San Francisco, California (Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail) or travel routes first used by Native Americans (El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail), and scenic drives. I could spend a year and not see it all.

I had made reservations for the first week of July, but my daughter will be in summer school so I have to reschedule. It also looks like the Hawaii trip might work out, so I may have less time in the contiguous 48 than I had planned and the drive down PCH1 might have to wait for another year…not that I’m complaining. This is why I always use a pencil and rarely make reservations.

I spent 40!  It's cheaper on Amazon...maybe I'll take it back.


Brian Miller said...

oh i love going to the bookstore...i could be lost in there for sounds like a cool road trip!

jack69 said...

For some reason the Grand CAnyon has been the most impressive National Park for us yet. I seldom use the word AWESOME, but that is what it is. Wife would not go down all the way to Ghost RAnch so we only walked a piece down. If you have not seen it, you will love it.
We are not much for reservations, but around holidays it is a must.
TAke care, planning is half the fun.

Viva La Fashion said...

that picture is soo pretty. :)

carma said...

we did the trip you are speaking of NV, AZ, Utah, Colorado a few years ago and it was a blast!! Be sure to check out Moab, UT. We did some horseback riding there and the 80 year old guide was a piece of work. Petroglyphs are awesome. I dragged my husband along to see the ones outside Moab and near Albuquerque. He didn't appreciate that second one being it was not on our itinerary. He is not so fun to travel with :D

Heather said...

Amazing book and I bet lots more detailed than the 70's version I have. Sounds like you will have a great trip all planned out when the time comes. I am excited for ya!

John McElveen said...

Awesome!!! My Mother and Step Father have circumnavigated the US bunches of times, and I think they love that area second only to Maine, (Prob because of the Lobsters and a Little cooler weather!

Neat post!


I could stay in Book's a Thousand (Cutbacks) for Hours on end!)

Vince said...

I, if I get the chance will hike the Hopi Reservation. Not the Navajo, but the Hopi.

Jingle said...

visiting bookstore is one of my favorite hobbies...

very inspirational post!
Happy Tuesday!

Kelly said...

Ah..books. One of my greatest weaknesses! (that and music)

Between the two it's easy for me to live a very sedentary lifestyle.

Jen said...

@Brian Miller: I think it will be a very cool road trip. I can't wait!

@jack69: I do make reservations on holidays and I think I will need them for the Grand Canyon. Other than that, I play it by ear.

@Viva La Fashion: It is. I can't wait to see that in person.

@carma: That's what I hate about itineraries...half the fun is discovering surprises along the way and if everything is scheduled, you don't have time to explore them. Moab is close to Arches National Park and I do plan to visit.

@Heather: I'll have a list of possibilities and a few must-see's...that's the closest I get to "all planned out".

@John McElveen: Maine lobsters are delicious!

@Vince: The Navajo rarely scalp people these days. You could visit both.

@Jingle: I like the ones that have tables and chairs so I can make myself comfortable and browse. One of my favorite things to do as well!

@Kelly: You need an MP3 and books that inspire you to get outside...

Rebecca S. said...

That book sounds amazing! I saw a great doc on Ansel Adams, and was blown away by his photos of national parks as well. Hope your trip dreams come true!

Jayne said...

I hate clothes, shoe and even food shopping (Basically, I hate shopping). In fact my daughter has commented that when I shop it's like a military strike - I know what I want/need and I'm in and out at speed. However book shops, craft shops and stationery stores have me loitering in the aisles. :)

Jen said...

@Rebecca S.: He got those shots without the benefit of modern cameras, roads, or transportation. Ansel Adams was a genius.

@Jayne: You still use stationery? Good for you! So few people do any more.

Anonymous said...

I think it is dangerous to go into a book store. I could be so entranced with the books, they could close down and I wouldn't notice.

Even a chocolate store doesn't compete and clothing is miles behind.

That is a great picture.

Jen said...

@comfycook: I never get out of the store less than 100 dollars poorer. It is very dangerous.

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