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My #BattlefieldsandBeginnings road trip

15 days. 2,486 miles. 31 new national parks.

In March 2013, I had one of my most productive national park road trips. I called it my #BattlefieldsandBeginnings trip, and it primarily focused on as-yet-unvisited national parks in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. I also snuck in a quick jaunt over the Pennsylvania border to hit Gettysburg and the adjacent Eisenhower National Historic Site.

Continue reading My #BattlefieldsandBeginnings road trip

A partial recap of my #GreatWaters road trip

A twitter recap of my #GreatWaters national park roadtrip* in August 2012. Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to posting the photos yet, or writing a passable summary yet, so this will have to do for now. Enjoy!

*and a shitload of roadside attractions/oddities.

Continue reading A partial recap of my #GreatWaters road trip

Following the life of Abraham Lincoln

In August 2013, I made it to the last two major national park sites dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln. After watching the movie Lincoln in 2013, I thought back on all of the Lincoln-related historical sites I’ve visited. I think it’s a rather comprehensive list, especially as he’s been enshrined in the National Parks.

I’m not certain if it’s a complete list, but it’s not far from one either. Please feel free to use it to complete your own mini-quest of visiting all of the Abraham Lincoln historical sites.

Oh, and add Lincoln, Illinois to the list as well—the site of the strangest Lincoln story I’ve heard and home to the largest Lincoln statute on a covered wagon.

I’ve also been to a few of the seven locations where the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates took place, mostly recently the Jonesboro site, which is memorialized with statues in a lovely city park.

2012 was among my best trip years yet

2012 planned trips map
It didn’t quite turn out this way, but it was an ambitious travel year nonetheless.

While I’ve had some amazing travel years, 2012 surprisingly ranks near the top. I made it to 39 national park units I had not yet visited, took my first big solo national park road trip, visited a few new states and two new parts of the country, made it to the first Graham family reunion in several decades, marked off a few straggling park units that had dogged me for years, rafted and backpacked in some amazing places, gained a nickname for visiting all three specimens competing for the title of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, started a new quest to hit all of the highest points of relatively flat states, and stopped by over one hundred roadside oddities and attractions. And, of course, created some fabulous memories. Continue reading 2012 was among my best trip years yet

Learn how to watch football

Football is our nation’s most watched, most celebrated, and most complex team sport. It combines cunning strategy and raw statistical analysis, motivation and desire, quick decisions and blazing speed, brute force and disguised misdirections, elegant moves and vicious hits. It’s simply an amazing game—but only when you understand what’s happening. Here’s a short guide to taking the first step towards learning what the game is all about. Continue reading Learn how to watch football