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My Favorite Parks

early October 2023

While we ate dinner with Scott and his wife in Hotchkiss, Scott asked the question I have received so many times: "So which was your favorite park?" People first asked me that at the second park I visited, and now I get it regularly.

I smile and shake my head when I hear the query. That would be like me asking, which do you like most: a loaded banana split, a T-bone steak still sizzling from the grill, a deep-tissue Swedish massage, or a guided tour via e-bike? Each park has something special to offer, their own allure, so it depends on your priorities at any given moment.

Are you looking for an ultimate wildlife experience? It's hard to beat Katmai's bears.

Want to challenge yourself? Try backpacking at Mt. Rainier.

Interested in facing your fears? Cable up and walk the catwalk 850' above the New River Gorge.

Will you try your hand at an outlandish sport? Head to frigid Denali park to mush a dogsled team.

Looking for a different environment? Go underground at Mammoth Cave,

or strap on crampons and walk one of Wrangell's glaciers.

If someone pushes me to pick one, I really have but one choice: Rocky Mountain, my 'home park' when growing up in Colorado... and since I got married there. But I can't downplay the charm of so many other sites.

As this challenge winds down, I thought more about the great landscapes and environments I have had the opportunity to visit. Before long, lyrics to another song began popping into my mind:

Riding a carriage pulled along by horses

In the Grand Canyon, seeing nature's forces

Wilderness floating on serene Lake Clark

These are a few of my favorite parks

Watch bears at Katmai sneaking up behind us

Seeing Glacier park while riding the Red Bus

Chopper over Badlands, fly above landmarks

These are a few of my favorite parks

In the Biscayne Bay, swimming with the fishes

Olympic Park has tide pools filled with riches

Getting an old-time massage - that's a lark

These are a few of my favorite parks


When the bills come

When the snow flies

when I feel paralyzed

I simply remember my favorite parks

and then I feel energized

In cold Kenai Fjords, watch playful sea otters

Glacier Bay day boat shows ice meeting waters

White desert sand dunes with beauty so stark

These are a few of my favorite parks

Paddle your kayak through the breaking sea waves

Stalagmites rise up in the dark Mammoth Caves

Dog sled in Denali, air echoes with barks

These are a few of my favorite parks

Volcano sunset high over the ocean

Epic river waves keep your raft in motion

Rowing thru the swamp, get lost, off your marks

These are a few of my favorite parks

(Chorus *2)

The video for the song now resides online. Cut and paste

into your browser, or search YouTube for 'My Favorite Parks'. Go ahead and sing along with me!

Coming very soon: my final two parks...

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