Channel Islands National Park: More Water Than Land

The sun rose on yet another sunny Southern California morning as we drive from the huge metropolis of Los Angeles towards Oxnard. The urban landscape and traffic melts away as farmland begins to dominate. Soon, the smell of salt water waffles through the window as we leave the highway. We turn into the harbor where large vessels intermix with small sailboats and sea lions sunning themselves on the docks. The sea is calm and the temperature is a perfect 70 degrees. Looks like a glorious day for a boat ride.

Read more

Mammoth Cave National Park: Year-Round Air Conditioning

The dark clouds are above us as we approached the Mammoth Cave visitor center. The threat of rain is hovering over us but fear not – Most of this park is indoors, and naturally air-conditioned!

Fortunately, we did our research ahead and booked the tour before we got there. Nearly all tours were booked for the morning with only a few left in the afternoon. While it was a warm summer day, most visitors carried a sweatshirt with them. It will be important in a few minutes.

Read more

Congaree National Park – The Park That Is Not A Swamp

The rain was light but constant as we approached the park in mid-morning on a Monday. As we leave the relative hustle and bustle of Columbia, South Carolina, the traffic melted away and the trees became thicker. The air is musty and the crowd is — well, not there. The parking lot is nearly empty. The entrance is unassuming, just to the side of the road. What can we expect? Where are the people?

Read more