Our National Parks are the last best part of what is these United States. The wilderness and wildlife preserved by our National Parks and Monuments, and the history kept safe by our Historic Sites give us all a link to pure beauty, a way to reconnect to our Mother Earth, and the ability to experience our own history firsthand. This past week the immensely talented Ken Burns' documentary on our National Parks was shown for six consecutive nights on PBS. If you didn't watch it, little ones, you missed the best TV to come along in a hellofa long time.
I grew up in Cody, WY, 50 miles from the East Entrance to Yellowstone Park. I remember going to the park in the family car back in the days that the bears were near the highway, begging for food from the cars. One glaring omission in Ken Burns' documentary was the roll the Craigheads played in getting the backcountry dumps closed so the bears could revert to their natural foraging ways...the Craigheads fought hard for that to happen, and it took a few generations for the bears to relearn what nature had hardwired into them, but eventually revert they did, and the days of "feeding the bears" ended once and for all. So, a huge thank you to the Craigheads for giving a damn and fighting the good fight to keep the bears wild.
I have been able to experience Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountain National Parks several times so far in my life, and I know I will have the honor and privilege to do so again, and to add to the list, in the years to come.
If you read this blog often, you know my heart sings and my soul is at home in the mountains...the National Parks I have experienced bring symphonies to my life. If you have not yet visited any of our National Parks/Monuments/Historic Sites, little ones, put that on the agenda soon. They are, indeed, America's Best Idea.