Sunday, May 9, 2010

The reason I'm finally visiting Yellowstone National Park

The National Parks: America's Best Idea (Loved It)--This is a documentary by Ken Burns. I love both Ric & Ken Burns documentaries. Their styles appeal to me. but this documentary is now one of my all time favorites. It is beautiful and should be watched. Rent it, Nexflix it, DVR it, do what you have to do to see this. It's GREAT. I didn't know there were 58 parks in the National Park System. I've been to two (Zion's & Arches) and after seeing this, added Yellowstone to my travel itinerary. I'm going in June with my mom, my stepfather, and my sister.

It's wonderful how Ken Burns combines the history of the parks and their development with the stories of "ordinary" people. These or4dinary experiences are the truly extraordinary part of this series. And I'm not going to lie that I teared up (as I often do) when listening to the stories about John Muir and the Gerkes who toured the parks in the 20's in a series of Buicks. The real tears came when I listened to my favorite story of Tuan Luong who has visited and photographed all 58 parks and has the stamps to prove it. He's a French/Viet Namese man who fell in love with the parks, set a goal to see each one, and did so. I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I die (I've been to 30 and to Washington D.C., but none of the 5 U.S. territories), so I understand his motivation and that's probably why I loved his story so much.

A man at work asked me to find one government program that has worked and my answer was the National Parks. The United States invented this idea and we are the benchmark for the other nations that have followed this pattern. It is a system that provides universal democracy. It allows all men to "own" a piece of the most beautiful and important land this country has to offer. So plan on watching this and then visiting a National Park. There are 5 in Utah, so if you live near me or not so near--GO!!!


  1. I hope to see a couple this summer too now that we are even closer to them than before.

  2. I completely agree with you. This was a FANTASTIC series....and the actual park are pretty amazing too!

  3. PS--I have your least, the new one that I am replacing yours with that I got a greasy fingerprint on. So sorry about that. WIll you be around this weekend? I'll return the new/non-greasy one to you. ;)

  4. Shauna, I was around, but I'll give you a call and can stop by one evening after work. You didn't need to replace it, but you ARE awesome. That was very nice of you.