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Back in September 1803, US President Thomas Jefferson decided he ought to find out more about the territory he had just acquired for the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. He commissioned Merriweather Lewis and William Clark to go and explore and in November 1805 after a gruelling trip they sighted the Pacific Ocean and set-up shop at Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon
Cape Disappointment is home to a wide selection of trails, whether you’re looking for elevation gain or a paved outing. The most-frequently photographed lighthouse is North Head, with a precarious position on a steep bluff above the crashing waves.
Located along US 20 between the small towns of Arco and Carey in Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We decided to stop and explore this barren and unwelcoming landscape during our road trip from Oregon to Minnesota.
Custer State Park is famous for its bison herds, other wildlife, scenic drives, historic sites, visitor centres, fishing lakes, resorts, campgrounds and interpretive programs. In fact, it was named as one of the World’s Top Ten Wildlife Destinations for the array of wildlife within the park’s borders and for the unbelievable access visitors have to them.
Regarded as sacred by American Indians, exploration of the the area known a Wind Cave did not begin until 1881, when the entrance was noticed by two brothers, Jesse and Tom Bingham. They heard a loud whistling noise, which led them to a small hole in the ground, the cave’s only natural opening.
The Badlands National Park is a rugged, harsh and beautiful landscape. Set in 244,000 sq acres in South Dakota it can be explored as a day trip or you can spend several days camping and explore deeper into the park along the trail system.
Mount Rushmore is a relatively recent creation and started as a concept by state historian Doane Robinson in 1923. The choice of artist was Gutzon Borglum, a radical sculptor with a sense of scale and outlandish ambition.
(National Park / USA /United States)
The Devils Tower in Wyoming was America’s first National Monument. This incredible rock has been visited by man for millennia, from first nations people to today’s tourists. It is visited by over 400,000 people each year, drawn by its unique geological character and imposing presence.
Today we decided to head off to Canyonlands National Park. After doing some research prior to going we decided the best way to see everything was going off-road in a car. (National Park / United States)
We visited Bryce Canyon, Utah in May and it was still a bit chilly but the crowds were small so we had a wonderful and peaceful time exploring the Park’s delicately carved rock formations, including its famous hoodoos and arches.
Arches National Park is just a few short miles from Moab, UT. Here the full forces of nature have taken their full toll on the Navajo sandstone, creating a number of large, spectacular arches in the rocks formations.
High-up in the California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains are two of USA’s most spectacular National Parks, Kings Canyon and Sequoia. Sequoia National Park gives you the chance to get up close to the largest trees on the planet whilst in Kings Canyon you can explore the most incredible alpine scenery with the backdrop of some of the tallest peaks in lower 48 States.
Gettysburg located in rural Pennsylvania probably would have remained a sleepy little town but for the American Civil War and the battle that took place there on July 1 to 3 1863. Here the Confederate and Union forces fought a fierce battle that resulted in the highest losses of any conflict in the Civil War. For those like myself, who can’t imagine a bloody melee such as took place at Gettysburg there is an amazing visitor center complete with videos, memorabilia and a fantastic cyclorama.
On our road trip through Pennsylvania we discovered a National Park that we were totally unfamiliar with. Valley Forge, located 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, had a very important role in the War of Independence, but unlike many monuments this was not the site of a battle
We spent two excellent days exploring the magnificent Yosemite National Park. With two children in tow we focused our time in the valley admiring the granite peaks, the Merced river and the splendid waterfalls. We even got to try our hand at painting in water colors.
Situated on the famous Route 66 Flagstaff is a great little mountain town with some very cute shops and a good selection of places to eat. It is also a great base for a couple of days. From here you can easily get to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in about 90 minutes. Close to Flagstaff there are a couple of other attractions that we think are worth checking out.
A visit to Montezuma Castle, an ancient cliff dwelling south of Sedona. This five storey cliff dwelling was built by the Sinaquas, an Ancient Indian Tribe about 700 years ago, which they later abandoned in around 1400
Jackson, Wyoming is a quaint little town set in the Rocky Mountain range with a distinct Western feel. It is the gateway to the exclusive Jackson Hole ski resorts and consequently has its fair share of pricey boutique shops and restaurants. But there are deals to be had! It is also a great base to explore National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park and as a stopping off point on your way to Yellowstone National Park
On our road trip across Arizona we called into the amazing Petrified Forest National Park, a journey back into the primordial past . As we traveled on the weather forced us to make a stop, which gave us the chance to visit Meteor Crater, the landing site of a car sized meteor and the massive indentation it made in the Earth.
As we trekked across from Oklahoma on our way to Alabama we stopped off at the small, historic town of Fort Smith. The former garrison which gave its name to the town is now a National Monument which we took the opportunity to visit. We also were able to check out the historic center and the local visitor center; a former bordello.
We spent 2 days exploring Washington State’s Olympic National Park. – a vast wilderness encompassing nearly a million acres; with several distinctly different ecosystems.