A Unique Cactus: Saguaro National Park

There are four deserts in North America: the Mojave, Great Basin, Chihuahuan and Sonoran. The Sonoran Desert is the most complex and diverse of its counterparts, with its physical features ranging from mountain ranges to arid plains to grassy plateaus to lava flows. It also contains a catcus found nowhere else: the saguaro.

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Tuesday Quiz: Match the National Park to its Picture

NPS Quiz

This quiz will test your knowledge of the U.S. National Parks in pictures. You will have six minutes to correctly identify 20 parks.

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A Tale of Two Deserts: Joshua Tree National Park

The focus of our Trekking the Planet NPS journey is to venture to new and lesser known U.S. national parks. However, for our first park we chose a familiar place: Joshua Tree National Park, which is only a one hour drive from our home in Palm Desert, CA. The park is unique in that it features plants and wildlife from two deserts: the Mojave and Colorado.

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Tuesday Quiz: Find the location of the U.S. National Parks

NPS Quiz

As we begin our travels to 27 U.S. National Parks, this week’s quiz challenges you to identify a national park based on its location on a map. How many can you accurately find?

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Dueling Plans: Preparing for our National Parks and PCT Adventures

If you have been following us for any length of time, you know that we are planners. We like to know where we are going, and what we will be doing for each day of a journey. Our upcoming United States National Parks (TTP NPS) adventure is no different. But what made things more challenging this time was that we need to concurrently sort out the logistics for this trip as well as our return to the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Tuesday Quiz: Do You Know What are the Most Popular National Parks?

This week’s Tuesday Quiz will test your knowledge of America’s most popular national parks. Can you fill in the ten most visited park names in the time alloted?

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How we converted our 4Runner into a Camper

Camping is a main component of our U.S. National Parks journey, as we travel to 27 parks over four-and-a-half months. In fact, we plan to camp over 100 nights while driving round the United States. While planning this trip, Sandy

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Announcing Our Next Adventure – A Journey to 27 United States National Parks!

Our next journey, beginning in March 2017, will take us to 27 of the U.S. National Parks, over a 4 1/2 month period! Most people are aware of the iconic parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. These are just three of the 59 National Parks found throughout the country. Our goal in visiting 27 National Parks this year, similar to our other journeys, is to focus on the cultural and natural significance of the parks. So we plan to visit many of the more obscure and lesser known places.

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Update from PCT Mile 2144

The Pacific Crest Trail spans three states as it travels from Mexico to Canada: California, Oregon and Washington. The Oregon portion of the trail is the shortest of the three states, covering a distance of 455 miles. As we trekked closer to the California/Oregon border we heard all kinds of stories from other hikers. “Oregon is flat, and you can easily hike 25 to 30 miles each day,” one person told us. “It’s a “green tunnel” of shady forests with not many mountain views,” said another. All we knew was, after over 1,300 miles of hiking in California, we were ready to tackle a new state.

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Update from PCT Mile 1689

The Cascade Range of mountains extend about 700 miles from British Columbia, Canada to Northern California. The Cascades differ from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in their series of volcanic peaks dotting Northern California, Oregon and Washington. In fact, all of the volcanic eruptions over the past 200 years in the contiguous United States have taken place in the Cascades.

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Update from PCT Mile 1284

It had been a traumatic experience for us to leave the PCT in the High Sierras, due to the raging river crossings. As we rejoined the trail in South Lake Tahoe, we weren’t sure whether we would encounter other issues that would force us to make a similar decision. We knew that we would still face some snow, but weren’t sure to what extent it would affect our hiking progress.

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Update From PCT Mile 1090

The past segment of the PCT from Tehachapi, CA has had a little of everything: heat, scarce water, fire worries, treacherous trail, snow, and finally, torrential rivers and streams.  It also marked the end of our desert hiking and the beginning of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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