Eight days remain to 2012, and then we'll be off to a brand new year in the National Park System. To all our readers, more than 1 million strong, we thank you for visiting the Traveler and, when the urge moved you, for leaving your thoughts.
The past 12 months have at times been bittersweet in the parks, what with tragic deaths and more than a few controversies over how best to manage these preserves that capture and protect natural and cultural resources, and more than a little American history, good and bad.
But the parks have also spawned countless fond and treasured memories, from family reunions to weddings, to new adventures and simple moments of reflection. They've nurtured us, provided solace, and even sanctuary from the 21st century world.
During the coming week we'll be rolling out stories that look back on the past year in the parks, stories that recount ups and downs in the parks, the parks we've visited, trails we've hiked, books we've read, and birds that we've looked for.
It's hard to say what 2013 will bring, what parks we'll find ourselves in, what news will be made. But we hope you come along with us, and bring your family and friends, too. Until then, may you enjoy the year-end holidays and begin planning some travels in the parks in the coming 12 months.