The climate is not static. Ice ages come and go, pushing rivers of ice south and then pulling them back north across continents as temperatures and snowfalls rise and fall. Animal and plant species either stay ahead of these icy incursions and adapt, or perish.
Even experienced travelers often are surprised to learn that some national park lodges still offer rooms without a private bathroom. In fact, in making a reservation at one of the lodges you might discover there is no choice other than a room that requires use of a community bathroom. While European visitors are not surprised and might even expect rooms without a private bathroom, many U.S. travelers don’t look kindly on the need to use a bathroom that is just down the hallway.
If you live in North Carolina and were hoping to attach a Blue Ridge Parkway commemorative 75th anniversary license plate onto your rig, you can forget about it. The foundation has decided too many obstacles stand in the way of producing the special plates.
Where once we had guidebooks, topographic maps, and campfire talks to help us appreciate and understand the national parks, there's now a growing number of electronic applications for your iPhones, iPod Touches, and other cellphones and media devices to overwhelm the senses.
Plans for celebrating the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary in 2010 are moving along well. There's a rich mix of activities and events being planned, including community programs as well as professional seminars.
Tunnel vision is one thing, but tunnel knowledge is quite another matter. See if you can sort things out in this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you hold the steel for a cross-eyed sledge wielder.
Sunflowers, violets, trillium and other wildflowers are just around the proverbial corner in the Appalachian Mountains. You can spot these and dozens of others in Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, as well as along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Visitation to the National Park System in 2008 was, essentially, flat from the year before. There were spikes in some areas, and deep drops in others, but overall the 275 million visitors who were counted represented just 800,000 fewer than in 2007, according to preliminary data from the National Park Service.