A Holiday Gift List For National Park Travelers
What do you get for that national park lover in the family? The options are more diverse than you might imagine.
* Consider a collector's edition of national park medallions.
* For word lovers, a special national park edition of Scrabble.
* Or maybe the national parks edition of Monopoly.
* The latest book on Ansel Adams' national park photography.
* A collection of hiking staff medallions from the parks.
* Got cold feet? Consider curling up on the couch with a national parks edition wool blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills.
* Honor someone by purchasing a bear box for use at Grand Teton National Park. The folks at Grand Teton National Park Foundation would be happy to attach a stainless steel plaque with their name to the box.
* For someone who hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway, pick up a copy of Randy Johnson's Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway.
* An annual entrance pass to the national parks. Of course, if you wait until January 1, 2011, to buy this gift, it actually will be a 13-month pass, since it won't expire until the last day of the expiration month (January 31, 2012).
* For Glacier National Park lovers, a copy of This High, Wild Country, A Celebration of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
* For those who love the High Sierra parks of Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon, a copy of the gorgeous photography contained in The Changing Range of Light, Portraits of the Sierra Nevada by Elizabeth Carmel.
* For readers curious about how we might restore the ecosystems of our national parks, a copy of Repairing Paradise: The Restoration of Nature in America's National Parks by William Lowry.
* To create an aural reminder of the national parks, a gift of one or more CDS from Orange Tree Productions, where the musical scores are inspired by visits to national parks from Acadia to Yosemite, help set the mood.
* Ranger Doug and his crew specialize in replica "zoo stickers" that harken back to the day when visitors entering a national park would be given a windshield decal to show they paid the entrance fee. And they also produce replicas of the Works Progress Administration posters promoting the national parks.
* Many parks offer annual entrance passes that are less expensive than the national $80 America the Beautiful Pass. And if two parks are neighbors, an annual pass purchased in one is often good in the other. For example, the Yellowstone-Grand Teton annual pass is just $50 for a year's worth of unlimited entries to those two parks.
* Like to star gaze? Pick up a copy of Tyler Nordgren's Stars Above, Earth Below, A Guide to Astronomy In the National Parks.
* How 'bout a mint collection of America the Beautiful Quarters from the U.S. Mint? The first issues for this collection included quarters depicting scenes from Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Hot Springs national parks.
That's a pretty good list to get you started thinking. Of course, there doubtless are other ideas out there. Please share any that we overlooked.