Goat, eh, Glacier National Park

It’s that time again friends. We are bringing you another installment in
the Amazing Besties National Park Road Trip series. This was one of the most epic friend adventures either of us have ever had, so if you like best friend hijinks these posts are for you.  If you’re into pretty photos of natural wonders, you have come to the right place!  10 states. 9 National Parks and 1 National Monument. One summer of fun!

Want to catch up?  Check out the rest of the series here.

Days 17-18
Glacier National Park – Park #6!
Homeland of the Niitsítapi (Blackfoot)*

Continue reading “Goat, eh, Glacier National Park”
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A Beginner’s Guide to Pokémon Collection in National Parks

Pokémon Go, made available for download in America on July 6, 2016 (and adding new countries every day!) enables collection, training, and battling of the first 150 Pokémon. Individual Pokémon collection and observation is now possible, and Pokémon trainers will be venturing into their communities and the wilds that surround them in record numbers as they strive to catch ‘em all. By virtue of collecting and learning about (albeit augmented, virtual) animals, people will also rediscover their attraction to the natural world. Through Pokémon Go, trainers will develop a keen eye for their surroundings, patience for tracking, quick thinking in anticipation of Pokémon behaviors.  And what better place for young and old alike to hone their PokéSkills but the expansive wilderness of America’s greatest natural treasure, the National Park system.

The iconic U.S. National Parks have provided access to both nature and natural sciences to visitors for 100 years. Combined annual attendance to these natural wonders registers at a whopping 305 million people each year, attracting visitors from all over the world. Our National Parks span the landscape of the United States and her territories, ranging from the remote reaches of Alaska to the bustling east coast parks, like Shenandoah-a quick drive from several major cities-and hop entire oceans to appear in far pacific lands like Hawaii, American Samoa, and Guam. Sometimes, these parks pack a hefty admission fee, up to $30 in some of the most famous parks. The fees go toward necessary maintenance and upkeep of the most pristine natural environments in the country, preserving the experience for the next generation of visitors. Don’t be scared by the entry fees; reasonably priced annual passes and special free events can make access extremely affordable!  In fact, I planned a trip to Shenandoah National Park this past weekend for both my sister and me as a respite from the rigors of academia. However, once we got the news dropped of the long-awaited Pokemon Go release, our plans quickly adapted to incorporate some Pokemon collecting into our adventure.

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A quick entrance photo at the North Entrance Gate PokéGym.

Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Pokémon Collection in National Parks”

National Park in a Day: Yosemite

I like to think of STS as a Science Lifestyle Blog, or basically a mash-up of my two favorite types of blogs to read.  This is a slice of life, outdoor travel essay.  If you enjoy seeing this sort of content on the blog, please let us know!  

The end of spring is always a busy travel time for me.  The bulk of my dry season field work is done in July and August, so I often find myself traveling home or to fun destinations (thanks wedding season!) to celebrate and visit with friends and family in late May or early June.  This year has proved no exception, as my husband and I spent two weeks traveling for various family events, squeezing in visits with friends and working on projects remotely along the way.  If you’re interested in the full escapade, you can check the highlights on my Instagram.  We are both on the introverted side of the scale, and after nearly two weeks of almost constant social interaction, even though it was tons of fun, we decided a break to recharge our batteries was in order.  What better way to do that than to escape into the great outdoors?

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Deer grazing near Lukens Lake

We had originally planned to take our first couple’s backpacking trip, as D has never been backpacking and we have plans to go during part of our honeymoon next summer.  However, by the time the end of our two week trip actually arrived, we were trashed tired.  We also decided we really needed to be adults and get home a day earlier than we had originally planned due to work concerns.  That left us only one night and a day.  In the end, we opted to visit Yosemite National Park.  D had never been, and I was itching to see the look on his face the first time we entered Yosemite Valley. Continue reading “National Park in a Day: Yosemite”