I’m willing to bet that right about now there are a lot of Traveler readers who are scratching their heads and asking, “Chamizal? What the heck is a Chamizal?”
Exploring the Parks
One of America’s most quintessential road trips often starts by renting a convertible or RV in South Florida and organizing a tropical journey to the southernmost point in the continental United States. Visitors to this island oasis encounter a lifetime’s worth of natural wonders preserved by our State and National Park Services, along with plenty of fun in the sun, eco-adventures, and an opportunity to disconnect from the real world.
An atmospheric river of moisture took aim on California and the High Sierra over the last few months, dumping snowfall in amounts that haven’t been seen in years. While the state’s multi-year drought isn’t entirely over, the Pineapple Express (as the storms raging in over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii are referred to) has been hammering California with rain and snow.
Has anyone not heard that the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best places on Earth to paddle or float? Or that the New River Gorge National River has one of the best one-day whitewater paddles in the National Park System? If you’ve heard of those, and other iconic paddling spots in the park system, perhaps you are looking for something new, and not so thick with other boats that you’ll slap each other’s paddles. Let us offer you some suggestions, in no specific order.
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Acadia National Park. You’ll find empty parking spots at Acadia’s top destinations, “vacancy” signs at your favorite lodgings, and a more relaxed feel in and around the park as it gears up for the busier seasons of summer and fall.
Horace Kephart roamed the Smoky Mountains in all seasons, but he held springtime here in high esteem.
As soon as we slid the canoe into the river, the current grabbed it and pulled us towards the first rapid on our 26-mile guided trip down the East Branch of the Penobscot in the heart of Maine’s north woods. Now mid-May, it was the perfect time to run the Stream of Light, as the native Abenaki called it, in part because the black flies weren’t yet biting.
They were strangers to each other, collected by common calamity, disfigured, mortally sick, banished without sin from home and friends, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about the Kalaupapa Leper Colony in 1889.
With more than 400 units in the National Park System, trying to zoom in on any one particular park for a visit can be a challenge. Over the past 12 months the Traveler has "explored" quite a few parks, and we list those stories here to help you plan your next national park adventure.
There’s one sure-fire way for avoiding the crowds at Yosemite National Park: visit during the winter. Gone until May are the crowds that fill the Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and the Mariposa Grove. You’ll love the freedom from take-a-number tourism, and be mesmerized by the pure, clean, quiet whiteness. It just might seem like you have the place all to yourself.