Celebrating the Centennial.
The National Park Service turned 100 this year and we joined in the year-long celebration by visiting and discovering several National Parks. We ventured off to Wyoming to experience the untamed spirit of the West and majestic natural beauty of our great country. And it just so happens, Wyoming is home to both the first National Park, Yellowstone and the first National Monument, Devils Tower.
Our first stop took us to the amazing geologic feature Devils Tower. This site is considered Sacred to the Lakota people and many other tribes that have a connection to the area. Hundreds of hexagonal columns make it one of the finest rock climbing areas in North America. We then ventured off through the Black Hills of South Dakota which consists of 1.2 million acres of forested hills and mountains to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. As we strolled the entrance with the Avenue of Flags with flags representing 56 states and territories lining the walkway, an impressive carved sculpture tribute to four presidents welcomed us: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Our exploration continued back to Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park. Colorful hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles and geysers were among the geologic formations we experienced. The wildlife among them included buffalo, birds, and bears. A national treasure in pristine preservation, we enjoyed a day of hiking among the scenery of waterfalls, rugged cliffs and the crisp, clean air.
But no trip of National Park exploration would be complete without a visit to the Grand Tetons. Surrounded by beauty and a memorable scenery, the Grand Tetons offered great hiking trails, sparkling lakes, and a serene landscape as the monoliths rise above from the valley below.
With so much to do discover and explore at our National Parks it is without a doubt that we really do live in America the Beautiful and all these parks make for perfect ESCAPADITA.