Tag Archives: national historic site

Podcast 197: Overlooked Gems Of The National Park System

“This year has been a year of firsts for the National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek. First-time visits to units of the National Park System, that is. This year Repanshek has taken road trips through Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico to explore overlooked gems of the park system. To discuss these and other must-see sites with us today are Rebecca Latson, Traveler’s contributing photographer, and Kim O’Connell, a Traveler contributing editor.”

To listen to the podcast, click on the image above.

The background image is one I captured during my visit to the Painted Hills Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon.

The podcast interview was a fun one, and maybe it will encourage some of you out there to take your own road trip to one or more of these “overlooked gems” within the National Park System.

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Where The Road May Take Me In 2020

Park Road Past A Teepee

In 2018, the road took me from southeast Texas up to central Washington, with stops in places like Petrified Forest National Park, in Arizona, as seen in the photo above.

In 2019, the road took me to Mount Rainier, Olympic, andYellowstone national parks in addition to the North Cascades Complex.

This year, 2020, I believe the road will take me to several places. I’ve already made reservations for a cabin in May outside Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon (yes, I’ll take my snowshoes). And, I was talking to my National Parks Traveler editor, Kurt, yesterday, who gave me a list of some lesser-visited places about which he’d like to see stories written, and I think I have a plan, now.

You see, here in the Pacific Northwest, I live closer to more national parks and national monuments and national recreation areas and national historic sites than I ever did in southeast Texas, and I’d like to explore a little “closer” to home, within driving distance, this year. So, I think I’ll make trips to Lake Roosevelt NRA (with a side trip to Grand Coulee Dam), and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I’ve seen spectacular landscape images of that Oregon site.

I’d also like to make a longer road trip to follow (and photograph) the 38 sites (or most of them, anyway) of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. This covers four different states (WA, ID, OR, and MT) and would certainly be an undertaking. This, though, hinges on what happens to me in April. You see, I applied for one of three Artist-In-Residence positions in Glacier National Park. They are supposed to notify their choices in April. I’m definitely not holding my breath on this, though, since last year’s applicants numbered around 600, I believe I was told. Six hundred applicants for 3 spots. That’s quite a bit of talent from which the Glacier staff can choose. So I’ll do a little alternate planning in the meantime.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.



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