Midwest Region

Baby’s First Passport Stamp

While visiting family in Michigan, we took a day trip and drove down to Put-in-Bay to visit Perry’s International Peace Memorial.  My brother, sister-in-law, and 15-month old niece accompanied us.  In support of our National Park adventures, my brother bought my niece a passport book.  While eparks publishes a special book geared towards elementary-aged children, it does not have any room for stamping.  We all wanted Anna to stamp, and therefore, she has a “big girl” book.  Check out the pictures to see just how much she enjoyed her … Continue reading

Perry’s International Peace Memorial

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was selected as the Midwest 2010 Featured Stamp.  We had a theory that the featured stamps each year received special unique stamps, such as the one with a picture on it that we received last year in Haleakala when it was featured.  My wife was somewhat excited to see what this park’s picture would be. Unfortunately, this theory proved to be incorrect.

In any regard, since we were in the Detroit area visiting family, we decided to take a day trip down to … Continue reading

MotorCities National Heritage Area

In searching the web a few months ago, we learned about National Heritage Areas.   According to nps.gov, National Heritage Area is not actually units of the National Park Service.  Heritage Areas are not owned or managed by the National Park Service and the NPS’s involvement is always advisory in nature. In our opinion so far, these seem to be hit-and-miss locations of interest and the employees at the two we have visited have not been very familiar with the National Park passport stamp system.  As such, our stamp here … Continue reading

National Parks Travelers Club

As we have been getting more and more into our new found hobby, I stumbled upon the National Parks Travelers Club. The Club is a non-profit club whose mission is promoting park visitation and providing fellowship and recognition for everyone interested in visiting the parks.

Seeing as we are hooked, we decided to join. We have only been members for a few days and are very impressed with the quality and magnitude of information the small membership fee ($10.00) brings. Being a Google Earth Pro trainer, I was … Continue reading

Plan your Summer Adventures

The National Park Service has created a useful and very informative site to help you plan out your “Summer National Park Adventure.”  My wife and I have several National park visits planned for the upcoming months. We hope to visit sites in the National Capital Region as well as a few other regions.  Check out the new site and start planning your next trip at http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/plan_your_visit/index.htm.  Don’t forget your passport book!… Continue reading

LA Times – Hidden gems: America’s 20 least-visited National Monuments

The Los Angeles Times has a great list of the 20 least visited National Monuments.

Here is the list:
20. Chiricahua, Arizona (Western) – Visitors in 2009: 60,851
19. Tonto, Arizona (Western) – Visitors in 2009: 60,534
18. Capulin Volcano, New Mexico (Southwest) – Visitors in 2009: 50,935
17. Pipe Spring, Arizona (Western) – Visitors in 2009: 49,433
16. El Morro, New Mexico (Southwest) – Visitors in 2009: 48,245
15. Buck Island Reef, U.S. Virgin Islands (SoutheastContinue reading

Dayton Aviation Heritage

The city of Dayton is centered around aviation, both historically and currently.  Home of the Wright-Patterson Airforce base and the National Air Force Museum, there is a lot to see outside of the National Park system as well.

Our first stop was at the main Visitor’s Center in a small neighborhood in Dayton.  After wandering around and learning a great deal about the Wright Brothers and their early flying attempts, a park ranger escorted us to one of their five bike shops located a short walk away.  I believe … Continue reading

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

We arrived at the childhood home of President Taft early Sunday morning upon opening.  That said, we were the only visitors.  My husband and I knew very little about Taft (literally nothing except he was a plump past president) and really did not expect to enjoy this site very much.  We were pleasantly surprised.

The site’s Visitor Center offers a video and information about Taft.  Taft was a man with a wide variety of experiences including serving as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice and Governer-General of the … Continue reading