Michael Young

MisterParks

Michael Young




North America » United States » Alaska October 29th 2018

On a trip this complicated, I decided that it was important to lock in some of the key components of the trip, like lodging and transportation. I understand that often spontaneity is one of the most important factors on a trip and that being able to pick and choose about where and how you spend your time (and dollars) can often make a trip much more rewarding. But when so many expensive arrangements can disappear before you get an option to choose them, then the sacrifice that comes from have a precise itinerary becomes less of a problem. Alaska is becoming more and more popular as time goes on and the competition for scarce motel rooms, rental cars, and tour and excursion tickets intensifies, getting those items reserved and locked in is preferable to not getting ... read more

North America » United States » Wisconsin October 29th 2018

I finally managed to finish two books that I bought while on the Great Lakes Rendezvous trip. The first was In the Hands of the Great Spirit, by Jake Page. The subtitle summarizes the broad sweep of the book: “The 20,000-Year History of American Indians”. I bought this book at the Grand Portage National Monument because I was looking for something to fill the gap on my knowledge of Native American history in the Great Lakes region. I was learning lots about European Americans and their advance through the area, but I kept reading about references to Indian groups but wasn’t getting the history from their perspective. The Page book was much bigger in scope than I had wanted, but I decided that it would certainly be worth reading. I have never seen a book that ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska August 22nd 2018

We haven’t even been home from Great Lakes Rendezvous two weeks before we start getting the urge to travel again. So we decided to look at next year’s trip which, for a lot of reasons, is going to be Alaska! We’ve been looking at it in great detail over the last week and, in fact, have already made a lot of reservations. I thought it might be appropriate to provide an update on where we are with this trip, even though we are ten months away from it. (If a reader is interested, the early steps of the planning process were outlined in two previous blogs, one on 6/22/17, and the second a few days later on 6/27/17. I won’t repeat what’s in those blogs, so if you want to understand the full process, you should ... read more

North America » United States » New Mexico » Taos August 1st 2018

Home, Questa, New Mexico Yes, we made it home yesterday. We broke the 350-mile trip from my sister’s place to our place into two driving days this year. Mostly we did that because trying to park, level, and begin unpacking the trailer after driving a long day is just too exhausting. When that tired, you make a lot of mistakes and even simple things become very frustrating. So Monday we drove just 250 miles down, using Colorado highways, down to Lathrop State Park, just west of Walsenberg. Then we drove the last 100 miles home yesterday morning, arriving around 11:30. That gave us the rest of the day to get the trailer situated in its spot, and begin unpacking the trailer, especially the refrigerator and freezer. The trip the last two days was really unremarkable. Lathrop ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Fort Morgan July 30th 2018

Missy’s Place, Fort Morgan, Colorado We spent a wonderful three days catching up with my sister and her family. Only real exciting event was yesterday evening’s tornado, about 8 miles away. The tornado did a fair amount of damage to a dairy farm, including killing several of the cows and wiping out the ‘parlour’ (I guess that’s the place where they milk them). One of Dave and Missy’s vet employees was on the scene to help with the animals. Otherwise it was a real quiet three days. Joan and I slept in every morning and also took naps every afternoon - we are using the time to catch up on our sleep and regain some energy. Of course, we spent a lot of time chatting and sitting around the kitchen table. Dave cooked us three really ... read more

North America » United States July 28th 2018

My Sister’s Place, Fort Morgan, Colorado Although the trip isn’t over yet, the sightseeing is. So I have a few summary numbers on the progress through my National Parks Bucket List. On this trip we visited seventeen parks on the bucket list. Three were full scale National Parks (Isle Royale, Cuyahoga Valley, and Voyageurs) and they were all terrific. Not surprisingly, since were touring the Great Lakes, we saw all four National Lakeshores (Indiana Dunes, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Picture Rocks, and Apostle Islands). Lakeshores are nearly as big as a park and have lots to see and do in them, both culturally and naturally. When planning visits you need to allocate a fair amount of time to see them - a couple of days is a bare minimum. We toured four National Historical Parks (George Rogers ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Fort Morgan July 27th 2018

My Sister’s Home, Fort Morgan, Colorado Last year, on our very last night before arriving back home, in a state park near Clayton, New Mexico, the motor that pulls the trailer slide-out in and out quit functioning. It failed while the glider was in, so we could still travel. But it meant that we spent the last night in extremely cramped quarters. Fortunately, we were very tired and all we wanted to do was sleep anyway, so it didn’t make much difference. But it seems that if we get trailer problems they want to happen at the end of our trips. And so it was, night before last. After a long day of driving on Wednesday, we pulled into the Valentine, Nebraska municipal park to spend the night. We found what looked like a good campsite, ... read more

North America » United States » Minnesota » Montevideo July 25th 2018

Prairie Waters Region, Montevideo, Minnesota We stayed one more day in Southwestern Minnesota because Joan had one more thing (I call them rebellion items) she wanted to see. At this point, though, as tired as we both are and as overwhelmed by everything we’ve seen, I’m not sure either one of us really had our hearts into this day. The original idea Joan had was to drive up to the Marsh Lake area, known as the Prairie Waters Region, rent a canoe and maybe do some paddling around some of the marshes and streams. She had read an interesting article about the area in our travel magazine and it appealed to her. One of the lakes in the area serves as a bird wildlife refuge. In fact it is, reportedly, the largest pelican rookery in North ... read more
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North America » United States July 24th 2018

Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone, Minnesota We visited the last park on this trip yesterday - Pipestone National Monument - and what a terrific way to end the park tour. So many things came full circle here. Although I had no idea it would work that way when we planned the trip, this was a perfect last stop. This is a fairly small monument with a rather unique mission. It is run, like many of our national parks, as a cooperative between the U.S. government and other private agencies. In this case, the private agency is a Native American group. All Native Americans, but especially tribes like the Dakota and the Sioux from the Great Plains area have a keen interest in this park because it protects a sacred place. As the award-winning film relates, several Indian ... read more
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North America » United States » Minnesota » Marshall July 24th 2018

Camden State Park, Lynd, Minnesota We broke camp yesterday morning and drove around 380 miles southwest to this State Park in southwestern Minnesota. Our original plan had us spending a couple nights in St. Cloud, but we canceled that stop to add time to our Voyageurs stay. We both think that was a good idea, although it would have been better if we could have been at a better campground - we aren’t very happy with Arnold’s and Joan gave it a pretty poor review. But you don’t know these things when you make early reservations, and there really weren’t too many options available up here anyway. We are now done with Voyageurs and although it was a long drive, we managed it OK. We picked up US 71 right in International Falls and just followed ... read more




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