Hey, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t think I’ve written a blog post in a year or so. I hope you’re all doing well in these crazy times. As always, thanks for reading.
I have a question: What’s your favorite U.S. National Park?
Over the past two years, I’ve fallen in love with them.
Before the pandemic, I had only visited a handful of them, mostly by accident. But once the pandemic hit, and it was safe enough to road-trip, I drove all around the country visiting them.
Now I’ve seen 15 out of 63. And someday, I’d like to see them all.
First, there was Redwood National Park, with its towering trees and black-sand beaches…
Then Indiana Dunes, with its sprawling views of nuclear reactors…
Then Utah, home to some of the best national parks in the country: I visited Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.
After Utah, I visited Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Hot Springs (Arkansas), on the way to Austin, which is where I live now.
Then there was Big Bend, Texas. The night sky is incredible there! You can see so many stars.
Followed by Petrified Forest in New Mexico…
And most recently, Glacier (Montana) and Grand Teton (Wyoming). Glacier National Park reminded me of Switzerland with its alpine valleys, purple wildflowers, and jagged mountains. I even saw mountain goats.
I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to see so much of our beautiful country in the past few years.
When I was younger, I focused solely on international travel (this blog isn’t called Ashley Abroad for nothin’). But over the past two years, I’m happy to report that I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for my own backyard.
It turns out you don’t have to fly halfway around the world to go on an adventure.
As for my favorite? It’s a two-way tie between Redwood and Big Bend.