Dean Clough

July 14, 2023

Portico Darwin: US National Parks, My Way


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As you may have noticed, I was recently in Houston.  And I was thinking:  what is the opposite kind of place, in terms of just about everything? 

A US National Park. 

So now, as a service (and for a reason to show fun photos) to my readers, I bring you some great information about what Ken Burns rightly deemed "America's Best Idea," our beloved National Parks

First up is a dynamite graphic I found (it's in the public domain) showing the relative sizes of all 62 of the parks.

There is a 2' x 3' version of this graphic here.

Next, here is a complete list of the parks, and the state in which each is located.  And naturally, a personal spin, as I've indicated which I've visited.   

10 Seconds of Seriousness:  this and the rest are intended to evoke your own memories, motivate, inspire, or all 3.  I personally want to visit more - a LOT more - of our National Parks.

Of course, we've been to a few already over the years, and there are pictures.  Heck, there's even a movie, and it's not for the faint of heart - we needed tequila shots afterward, FFS.  No joke, and I believe the boat operators are no longer allowed to get quite so close.  To the molten rock that was pouring into the water right in front of us.

But I digress.  Here, in alphabetical order, are some personal gems from a few of America's, with links to the relevant Travel Guide, if one is available.  And while it's going to take restraint, I will let the photos mostly speak for themselves.

Carlsbad Caverns

Crater Lake

Sadly, I have no photographic evidence of a visit.  Julie and I drove through when we were first dating in January of 1990, and unfortunately, we were young enough not to really care about being there.  I didn't even pick up one of my beloved NPS park guide pamphlets, which I now collect.

But at least there's this - it was taken on the same trip, our first together.  This was on the west coast of Florida near Naples, at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.  No, not a National Park, but a very fine beach nonetheless.

Grand Canyon

Guadalupe Mountains

Hawaii Volcanoes
Arthur, Mrs. Crup, Julie and I witness Earth being made - and live to tell about it

Joshua Tree

Lassen Volcanic



Rocky Mountain

White Sands

Opposites?  I mean polar mother f'ing opposites?  How about The Ahwahnee at Christmas?  Yeah, this was a touch different than this week in Houston.

Some (OK, it will be only Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels and Primo Harvey PhD) will ask where are the National Monuments, Seashores, Trails, and Recreation Areas?  Well, they're not National Parks, but boy, can they still be gorgeous.  This is Cape Cod National Seashore, from our trip there in 2021.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your own memories, of National Parks, Houston, or elsewhere.


Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Certainly, at least one or two of the above visits occurred on a Saturday?  But no, I don't think any were on the 4th of July.

Regardless, here is Chicago IX, also known as Chicago's Greatest Hits.

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