National Park Quiz 2: Straddlers

Arizona-Nevada state line marker. Photo by allhype via flickr.

Folks had fun with the little quiz we published last week, so we’ve decided to publish a national park system quiz every week. Most will be themed. The first one was about centers, and several people reported excellent scores. Let's see how you do with this one about straddlers. Straddlers is what we're calling parks that straddle state lines, rivers, mountain ranges, or anything else a park can straddle. We've thrown in a bonus question for extra credit. Answers are at the end. Don’t peek.

1. Gateway National Recreation Area is so-named because it straddles the entrance to New York’s harbor. Which park component is on the New Jersey side?
a. Fort Hancock
b. Jacob Riis Park
c. Great Kills Park
d. Floyd Bennett Field

2. Which of the following national parks straddles the Continental Divide?
a. Great Sand Dunes National Park
b. Glacier National Park
c. Redwood National and State Parks
d. Katmai National Park and Preserve

3. Yellowstone National Park straddles one state border on its northern side and another on its western side. Which of the following statements is true?
a. Three of the park’s five entrances are in Wyoming.
b. Idaho state game laws govern fishing throughout the park.
c. Most of the park’s federally designated wilderness is in Montana.
d. Yellowstone is not the only national park that is located in three different states.

4. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. Which of the following is in the American part of the peace park?
a. the north end of Waterton Lake
b. the Prince of Wales Hotel
c. the golf course located near Emerald Bay
d. the St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island photo op

5. Death Valley National Park straddles the California-Nevada border. Which of the following is on the Nevada side of the park?
a. Scotty’s Castle
b. Grapevine Peak
c. Zabriskie Point
d. Panamint City Ghost Town

6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina border. All of the recreational activities listed below can be enjoyed by a person visiting this park. Which would involve crossing the Tennessee-North Carolina border?
a. backpacking 30 miles on the Appalachian Trail so you can say “been there, done that”
b. walking from the Clingmans Dome parking lot to the observation platform
c. taking a 33-mile sightseeing drive on the Newfound Gap Road
d. bicycling the entire length of the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop

7. All of the following parks straddle the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail EXCEPT:
a. Olympic National Park
b. Crater Lake National Park
c. Yosemite National Park
d. Lassen Volcanic National Park

8. Golden Gate National Recreation Area straddles the Golden Gate. If I lived in San Francisco, I would have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge if I wanted to visit
a. Fort Funston so I could spend the afternoon watching hang gliders
b. Hawk Hill so I could spend the afternoon watching for raptors
c. Fort Point National Historical Site so I could watch a living history demonstration
d. Sweeney Ridge where Gaspar de Portola became the first European to see San Francisco Bay.

9. In which of the following cultural/historical parks could a visitor straddle a state line while standing on a paved trail?
a. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
b. Colonial National Historical Park
c. Christiansted National Historic Site
d. Martin Luther King, J. National Historic Site

10. Your obnoxious neighbor is on vacation. He calls you on his cell phone and says “Guess what? I’m standing in a national park. My left foot is in Mississippi, but my right foot isn’t. Do you know where my right foot is? You reply: “Sure. Since it’s not in your mouth, it’s got to be in _______.
a. Louisiana
b. Tennessee
c. Arkansas
d. Alabama

Extra credit

11. Artillerymen and naval gunners can use a straddle to quickly zero in on a distant target. When you have one round land behind the target and one round land in front of it, you know the correct range lies in between. Hence the time-honored saying: “one over, one under, fire for effect.” Which of the historic brick masonry harbor forts listed below was on the receiving end of artillery fire whose aim was adjusted this way?
a. Fort Point (at Golden Gate National Recreation Area)
b. Fort Raleigh (at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site)
c. Fort Pulaski (at Fort Pulaski National Monument)
d. Fort Jefferson (at Dry Tortugas National Park)

Answers: (1) a (2) b (3) d (4) d (5) b (6) c (7) a (8) b (9) a (10) d (11) c -- The Confederates surrendered Fort Pulaski after Union artillery breached its front wall. The other three forts were never targeted by enemy fire. Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, not too bad; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.

Comments

I only got 8 out 11 on this one - but in fairness, there [was a problem with] #3. There are a number of National Parks that are located in three or more States, not least of which are the Natchez Trace Parkway and the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail - which provide the answer to question #10. Other Parks in three States include Harpers Ferry NHP (West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia), the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania (as well as DC) ), and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. If one wants to count Columbia as being essentially a State, then the George Washington Memorial Parkway would also qualify for being in Virginia, Maryland, and DC.

In the spirit of the quiz, though, allow me to add a bonus "straddler" question for any of the other commenters who enjoy these quizzes as much as I do... Two National Parks are located two different States - even though those States do not share border. Name the Parks!

Nice catch on Harpers Ferry NHP and Natchez Trace Parkway, Sabattis. I've revised the relevant item, since these two national parks are indeed located in three different states. This necessitated a slight edit of your original comment so as not to confuse people yet to take the quiz. None of the (eight?) National Scenic Trails is a national park, so we can't accept that one. Arguing that Washington, DC should be considered a state is not going to cut it, either. The question you've tacked on at the end is a very good one. You've got talent, and we could use a dose of that here at Traveler. If you want to whip up a brain teaser of your own, let us know and we'll be glad to work with you.

Ouch. Who knew a quiz would bring controversy to NPT?

Hi Bob - actually when the National Park Service refers to the "391 Units of the National Park System", it counts the Appalachian, Natchez Trace, and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trails towards that total. Its never been totally clear to me why other National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails have not similarly "counted" in the National Park Service's methodology. I'd certainly love to find out some day - although sometimes I wonder if even the Park Service itself knows the answer.... And I may take you up on your offer someday....
http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/refdesk/classlst.pdf

Those three trails are indeed counted in the inventory; I see that’s correct. But the Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Florida National Scenic Trail, the Ice Age Trail, and the North Country Trail are not? And none of the National Historic Trails either? Surely among the NHT's -- the Iditarod, the Juan Bautists de Anza, the Lewis and Clark, the Mormon Pioneer, the Nez Perce, the Oregon, the Santa Fe, the Overmountain Victory, the Pony Express, and the Trail of Tears (perhaps others have been added?) -- there is at least one that makes more sense then, say, the Appalachian Trail. This system must have been devised by a certifiable denizen of Bedlam. Heck, I'm not even sure that I know what a national park is anymore.

Bob, I never understood that. Would it be helpful to call only the "real" National Parks by that name and use "unit of the National Park System" for everything else? Of course, the organic act claims that National Parks are not preferred over Monuments or anything else, but for the general public I dare say a National Park still sounds more important - and DC seems to agree, as National Monuments are "upgraded" to full "National Parks".

Clustering like things together or placing them in the same category is Management 101. Disregarding this basic rule invites chaos, and the National Park System offers a splendid example. It's probably impractical to straighten this mess out at this late stage of the game, but wouldn't it be nice?

Hey Sabattis, you going to tell us the answer to your bonus question, or just make us all suffer?

Bob - I totally agree, I think that the National Park System would be a little easier to protect and defend if the System itself were properly definied in terms that people could understand.

I've never found an official explanation for why some National Scenic Trails are Units of the National Park System but others are not, nor are any National Historical Trails. I do have one theory, however, in that one characteristic shared by the Appalachian, Natchez Trace, and Potomac Heritage NST's, and I believe by none of the others, is that each of those three involve large amounts of Federal land. The Natchez Trace NST is located entirely within the borders of the Natchez Trace Parkway, 2/3rds of the Potomac Heritage NST is located within the borders of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the C&O Canal NHP (only the Laurel Highlands segment is not on Federal land), and I believe that almost the entire corridor of the Appalachian NST that was not already protected as Federal or State land has been acquired by the National Park Service. So far as I know, the National Park Service has not acquired land for any the other Trails. Additionally, many of the other Trails have been assigned to the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or Fish and Wildlife Service to be the lead administering agency. So that's my best guess, anyways, for that particular quirk of the National Park System....

One purpose if these little quizzies is to get you digging into the literature -- or cyberspace, if you prefer -- to find out more about the parks. The question Sabattis tossed out was a bit tough, though, so perhaps a clue is in order. Think Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast.

Bob, you want us to use websites, literature and maps to answer your quizzes? I thought one had to answer them straight out of ones head, and was a bit unhappy as I got only 7 out of the 11 this time after 9 of 10 at the last.

Well, MRC, I wouldn't want people to use the "open book" approach to get the answers the first time through the quiz. That would take the fun out of it. But I do think it'd be great if people who missed quiz items used various sources (including the Internet) to find out why particular answers were correct. Often, the best place to begin is with the relevant park's home page, which can be accessed through the National Park Guide alphabetical index at http://home.nps.gov/applications/parksearch/atoz.cfm. Everybody with a serious interest in the national parks should have that site bookmarked.

Sorry..... Good point - here's the answer to my "bonus" trivia question. The first Park is Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, which has two Units, one in Seattle and one in Skagway, Alaska. The Klondike Gold Rush played a major role in the development of Seattle as a major city, so the Seattle Units makes for a very interesting addition to this Park. The second Park is Gulf Islands National Seashore - which includes beautiful white sand beaches in western Florida and in southern Mississippi, but doesn't include any sites in Alabama.

Sabattis, I think maybe you sorta painted yourself into a corner on this one, revealing the terribly complicated nature of devising completely unambiguous quiz questions. Here is how you phrased your question:

Two National Parks are located [in] two different States - even though those States do not share [a] border. Name the Parks!
No problem with the Gulf Islands National Seashore. That's one. But here's the rub with the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. In tallying national parks (arriving at a total 0f 391), the Park Service counts the Skagway-based Klondike National Historical Park and the Klondike Gold Rush Seattle Unit National Historical Park as two separate units. That means that one can argue that they are really two separate national parks oriented to the same theme (the Klondike Gold Rush). If that were not true, why would each be listed separately in the master index, and why would each have its own website and its own Superintendent (Karen Beppler-Dorn in Seattle and Robyn Burch, Acting Superintendent as of August 2007 in Skagway)? OK, I will admit that it makes a lot of sense to consider them as just one park, but a good argument can be made for the alternate interpretation. Do you still consider your question completely fair?

Actually, Bob, the National Park Service only counts Klondike Gold Rush NHP once towards the total of 391 National Parks. I refer you to Page 3 of this PDF file for Reference:
http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/refdesk/classlst.pdf
Although this Park has two superintendents, and hence, two entires in the Index, the National Park Service counts it as a single Unit. But hey, if the National Park Service can count the tiny slice of Glacier Bay around the East Alesk River as a separate "Unit" of the National Park System - why not count as a single National Park two units separated by 1,000 miles!

Or, if we want to really confuse the NPT readers - consider the National Capital Parks, which counts as one of the National Park System's famous 391 Units. As it turns out, this "Unit" of the National Park System is sub-divided into two administrative jurisdictions with two separate superintendents, one for "National Capital Parks - East" and one for "National Mall & Memorial Parks" (the latter was formerly known as "National Capital Parks - Central".) These two superintendents, meanwhile, actually have jurisdiction over at least 15 Units of the National Park System! The superintendent for National Capital Parks-East has jurisdiction over Fort Washington Park, Greenbelt Park, and Piscataway Park which all count towards the 391 Parks total, as well as areas like Anacostia Park, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Oxon Cove Park, and the Suitland Parkway which do not count towards the 391. At the same time, the superintendent of National Mall & Memorial Parks has jurisdiction of the FDR, Lincoln, Jefferson, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, and World War II Memorials, as well as the Washington Monument, Constitution Gardens, Ford's Theatre NHS, and the Pennsylvania Ave NHS, all of which count towards the 391 -- and just to confuse things further, also over the "National Mall" (technically that green space between the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building), which counts separately towards the 391 too. On the other hand, the superintendent of National Mall & Memorial Parks also has jurisdiction over the DC World War I Veterans Memorial, the George Mason Memorial, the Japanese-American Memorial, and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial - all of which don't count towards the 391. Go figure!

It remind me of the old phrase - "the only rule is that there are no rules!" Anyhow I hope this helps....

Sabbatis, this is fascinating stuff. As I may have said already, Kurt and I have been talking about drafting a Traveler article focused on the national park name-game nonsense and the associated administrative labyrinth. You've given us some excellent fodder, and for that we're very thankful. Are you willing to critique our first draft?

I'd certainly be delighted to....

i love it