Showing posts from February, 2015

Wanderings: Rockport State Park

Moss and sunlight. Had I only two words to describe last Saturday's hike at Rockport State Park, those would be the ones I'd choose!

Tucked among the breathtakingly steep, thickly-forested slopes of the Cascade foothills north of Darrington, Rockport State Park is a true gem, and a rarity in our region.  Its 670 acres of forest have never been logged, thus allowing visitors the opportunity to experience an ancient ecosystem left completely intact. Let me tell you: if you're looking for some big trees... and I mean BIG trees... Rockport State Park is the place to go!

Wanting to make the most of a rare Saturday completely free of obligations, my husband and I piled our gear in the car and headed north to go explore this state park which neither of us had previously visited. And can I just say, once you exit I-5 and jump onto highway 530... wow.  The scenery is jaw-droppingly spectacular, with vistas of snow-capped peaks sharp against the not-so-distant eastern horizon, and v…

In The News: Let's Get Every Kid in a Park

Yesterday, while designating three new National Monuments, President Obama also unveiled the new Every Kid in a Park initiative, which will grant all 4th graders in the United States a free one-year pass so they and their families can visit National Parks and public lands free of charge. The program kicks off this fall, so all you parents of current 3rd grade students... start planning now how you're going to take advantage of that free pass!

The Every Kid in a Park initiative aims to make America's National Parks and public lands more accessible by waiving entrance fees for 4th grade children and their families.  In addition to the free entrance pass, the initiative will also offer grants to cover transportation costs for school field trips and students for whom those costs are prohibitive.

Like me, you may be wondering... why were 4th graders chosen to receive the passes? As it turns out, 9 and 10 year old children are at just the right age to form a life-long affinity for, …

Musings: Development, Gondolas, and Tourism in National Parks

Cliffs of red sandstone carve and contort the landscape, their steep faces bearing horizontal striations that repeat down, down, down - a mile down - to the shores of the mighty Colorado River, which slowly ground this canyon out of the landscape over eons. It is a breathtaking sight to behold; the play of stark light and shadow over the canyon walls, the dry red dustiness of it all. Looking out across the expanse, you're captured by the immensity of the deep and winding abyss. The Grand Canyon is a truly unique place unlike any other on earth.

According to the National Park Service, five million visitors flock to the Grand Canyon each year. They come to marvel at the magnificent canyon, to hike around, across, and into it. But there is a proposed development project in the works seeking to "enhance" visitors' experience of the canyon.

Just imagine... an IMAX theater, shopping center, and hotels to make your Grand Canyon visit more luxurious, exciting, and interesti…