Quick, pick an ocean setting for next summer's national park vacation. Are you heading to the Northeast, the Northwest, or looking South or somewhere else for your destination?
Although I grew up in New Jersey and spent many summer vacations on Long Beach Island, I'm really not a lie-in-the-sand kinda guy. I'd much rather head to Acadia National Park and scramble amid the boulders that make up the coastline, or pedal down the Carriage Roads with the ocean within easy reach, or hike through the pine and hardwood forests to the top of Cadillac Mountain and enjoy the north-to-south panorama of Frenchman Bay and the Gulf of Maine. And, I must admit, I have a weakness for an occasional fresh lobster dinner.
And yet, roaming the cobbled beaches of Olympic National Park with their sea stacks and powerful Pacific rollers, followed by a dinner that features fresh oysters for an appetizer, well, that's not too shabby either. Nor is snorkeling in the warm waters of Virgin Islands National Park, though those colorful reefs are sadly losing their color.
It has been decades since I was to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but the memory of sand storms still won't fade away. And the fishing wasn't much good, but then, that was no doubt due to operator error, not the location.
Which brings us to this week's Reader Participation Day: If cost were not an issue, which ocean setting is for you and why?