Collecting the Parks

Collecting the Parks

By Ben Wilson

The first time I visited a National Park, I had no idea what to expect. When I walked into the tiny shack of a visitors center atop Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains NP, I didn't know that I was about to purchase something that would mean so much to me. I wanted some form of a souvenir to commemorate my visit. There were lots of interesting books, a variety of magnets, and a decent supply of apparel all adorned with the name of the park. Any of these items would have sufficed for what I thought I was looking for. That's when I noticed another visitor pressing a stamp into an ink pad and then triumphantly placing its mark in a small book. After a quick explanation from the man behind the counter, I walked out of there with the first stamp in my National Parks Passport.

The 11th Annual Manly Summer Camp Out

By Matt Brown

For years camping always included the amenities of home, which literally could only be transported in the back of a truck. When I moved to Washington State, I went backpacking for the first time. I discovered that everything I really needed to stay warm, dry, and well-fed could be condensed down into a few basic elements and carried as far as my body could take it. It was the most fun I ever had camping and it changed by life forever.

Discovering America's Best Idea

Discovering America's Best Idea

By Ben Wilson

Not too long ago, I really had no idea what a National Park was. Sure, everyone knows about the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone with Old Faithful, but I still had no clue about the National Park Service and all that it entailed. I've been really involved with rock climbing the last few years and camped several times doing that, so I still considered myself the outdoor type. I just had no idea what I was missing.

Bad News: More Snow Incoming

By Phillip Tuttle

“Bad News: More Snow Incoming!” – that’s one of the many headlines meteorologists have been publishing around the non-stop storm cycles dumping feet of snow along the East Coast of the US. While our fellow Eastern Americans have been lapping the goodies for months now, the PNW has been getting hammered by the pineapple express, ultimately eating away at what little snow we have. Determined to find snow, I set out with a buddy to the higher elevations of Mt. Rainier.

The Appalachian Trail

By Adam Beard and Megan Kelly

The decision to walk this age-old bucket-lister came at the end of January after a particularly frustrating night of waiting tables on Megan's part. We thought it over and half joking decided it would be a good idea. The next couple months passed in a frenzy of preparation and the boxing up of all our homely possessions and suddenly we found ourselves homeless, traveling across the country to begin the Appalachian Trail.