Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Q" is for Quoin Island National Park in Australia

"Quoin Island" - Australian National Parks photo
Well, "Q" is a hard letter for National Parks in the United States. However, there is Quoin Island National Park in Australia. I've always wanted to travel "down under", so I can put this one on my bucket list.

Not a lot of information exists. It's located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Queensland, about 1210 miles northwest of Brisbane. The park was established in 1989 and might be likely to be part of an adventure tour for visitors to Australia. I would love to hear from anyone who has been a visitor to the island or nearby.

Friday, April 18, 2014

"P" is for Petrified Forest National Park

Scenics - Jasper Forest Pedestal Logs
"Jasper Forest Pedestal Logs" - National Parks Photo

Years ago, when our children were small, we visited Petrified Forest National Park. The landscape filled with petrified fallen trees was stunning to view. The sight of those multicolored logs fired my passion for trees of all kinds. The petrified wood in the National Parks photo above is much like what we saw and admired in that surreal landscape. How I longed to pick up a chunk of petrified wood from fossils of fallen trees which lived 225 million years ago. Of course, it would be criminal for anyone to disturb the fossil relics preserved in our marvelous National Park.
No wonder we love Arizona with its extensive beauty everywhere. In that scenic state, the Petrified Forest stretches for about 30 miles along the border between Apache and Navaho counties. The park width varies from 12 miles in the North down to about one mile and back to four or five miles in the South. The Petrified Forest National Park is a true treasure. I long to visit it again and this time take hundreds of photographs.

"Arizona Desert" ©Mary Montague Sikes

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"O" is for Olympic National Park
Sunset at Olympic National Park - National Park Photo
Olympic National Park in the state of Washington was first created as Mount Olympus National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909. In 1938, it was designated a National Park by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The park is located on the Olympic Peninsula and has four regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine, western rainforest, and eastern forests. In 1988, 95 percent of the park was designated the Olympic Wilderness by Congress.

The Northwest features so much beauty, it's hard not to want to spend vacation time every year in the area. I especially want to visit Mount Olympus which is 7, 965 feet high. It receives lots of snowfall and has the highest glaciation of any non-volcanic mountain in the 48 states.

Camera in hand, I look forward to visiting Olympic National Park.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"N" is for Nez Perce National Historical Park

"We did not travel here; we are of this land. We did not declare our independence; we have always been free."

-Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee

What an impressive quote from the Nez Perce. These are the people who decided to help the Lewis and Clarke expedition when it crossed into their territory in September 1805. These people have always been here.

The Nez Perce National Historical Park preserves, protects, and commemorates the history, culture, and contributions of this tribe of people. The park has 38 sites located in four states--Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Lewiston, Idaho has a regional airport that is located 11 miles east of the Spaulding Visitor Center.

Horse lovers will enjoy knowing that the Nez Perce selectively bred horses after they came on their land in the 1730s. They became known for large herds of intelligent horses with speed and endurance.

This National Park will be difficult to visit because of the many site locations. It offers much in the way of history from a perspective far different from what I learned in school.
Old Chief Joseph Gravesite 
Old Chief Joseph Gravesite - National Park Service

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"M" is for Mount Ranier National Park

Mount Rainier When we were in Seattle, Washington a few years ago, I was completely captivated by the mystic distant view of Mt. Ranier from the downtown streets. My excitement continued when I was able to take photographs (35mm color slides) of the mountain range from the commercial jetliner as we flew over the area.
When Mount Ranier National Park was established in 1899, it became our nation's fifth National Park. Mt. Ranier, the highest peak in the Cascades, rises 14,411 feet above sea level and continues today to be an active volcano with its last eruption in the mid 1800s.

Mount Ranier volcano is often shrouded in clouds that obscure it from the view of many of the 1.8 million visitors to the park each year. Of the about 378 square miles in the park, approximately 39 square miles are glaciers.

This is a popular mountain for climbing. Paradise, at about 5, 400 feet on the south slope, is the best-liked area in the park for tourists. Interesting to know that the National Park Service says, "Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly."

Although we have viewed Mt. Ranier only from a distance, I would like to visit the National Park someday when the peak is not cloud-covered. I'd like some digital photos of my own and, perhaps, I might even try plein air painting there.