Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rasmussen Travels

A chronological review of our treks across this great nation

We travel mostly by car, but there have been a couple of Alaska cruises and about ten Amtrak journeys across the country (mostly to Seattle). National Parks or Monuments are our most common destinations. TS condos are our favored accommodations. Our many camping trips across Minnesota with the family are not included in this description. Most of the continental US has been visited/or traversed,  with only Delaware and NJ escaping our travels so far. Mountains rate highest on our list of favorite places. Canyons, waterfalls and wildlife all deserve a second look and a photo.  Minnesota’s North Shore is a close second to any other place we rate highly, however. Our zest for traveling has increased with age, but the exploring/hiking has diminished markedly.
Train destinations/excursions; Chelan, WA, Seattle, WA, Mt Washington,NH, Conway NH, Whitehorse, Yukon, New Orleans, Wisconsin Dells, Verde Canyon, AZ, Bergen, Norway, Duluth, MN

Our destination trips began during the 1960’s with a Christmas visit(’62) to Washington D.C. while Jean and Fritz were residing in Alexandria, VA. Mom and Dad, and Marilyn Kay joined us in our 62 Bonneville for some sightseeing in the Capitol. Fritz was our personal tour guide.
Fritz showed us the highlights of DC
Capitol Mall
The Lincoln Memorial suits its surroundings so well that it seems to have always been there. The city's master designer, Pierre L' Enfant, could hardly have imagined a better architectural anchor to the west end of the Mall, the grassy area he visualized between the Capitol Building and the Potomac River.Behind the memorial to the west lies Arlington National Cemetery and the stately Lee-Custis Mansion; to the east you see the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill. The massive sculpture of Lincoln faces east toward a long reflecting pool. The peaceful atmosphere belies the years of disagreement over what kind of monument to build and where.
Lincoln Memorial
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November of 1964 was our first visit to Florida. Marilyn’s folks joined us for a quick tour of alligator territory and a stop in Huntsville, Alabama to visit her Uncle Herb. This blog is being limited to one or two pics per location traveled. You may branch to other pics and galleries by entering the SMUGMUG application (CLICK the pic).
Winter Haven, FL1964
Busch Gardens, 1964

Kansas City was the destination for a hot July BHS convention trip in 1974. Our mini-motor home was inaugurated with a 6,700 mile tour of the western USA in September of 1974. Brian (9), Brad (8), Brett (1) and Leonard and Olive got to visit about nine states and seven National Parks in 23 days with us. San Francisco and Los  Angeles even got a brief tour. LaVonne’s family lived in Blythe, California so we stopped for a short visit on our way to the Grand Canyon.
The beginning of our most ambitious vacation ever. Seven National Parks in 23 days and 7,000 miles in a 19.5' motor home with 7 people.
Our first family travel adventure started with the Badlands of South Dakota

From our 1974 western tour- Ricoh 35mm slide filmTake the U.S. 191 through Northwestern Wyoming to arrive at the breathtakingly beautiful Grand Teton national Park. Situated just south of the Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Teton doesn’t let its neighbor down, offering picturesque sceneries and exciting adventures as well as a strong dose of American History to its visitors.
Camping overnight  at Jackson Lake in the Grand Teton NP was next

1974 tour - (Brett must have been sleeping)Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.
After the Columbia river gorge we headed for Crater Lake NP
San Francisco was also a 'camping' stop

Our San Francisco tour was brief, varied and exciting with street cars, waterfront and the Golden Gate bridge all included.

Lombard Street in San Francisco is one of America's crookedest streets and found on many tours. The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions.   If not for the byzantine curves, easing out this treacherous slope, people could be killed rolling down. For an idea of how steep this street really is, go two blocks up, to Filbert Street and peer down over the ridge. Lombard is even steeper.Some of San Francisco’s most expensive real estate sits on Lombard Street. This Russian Hill neighborhood possesses stately mansions even with the endless array of tourists pouring down the street every day. In the spring and through the entire summer, Lombard Street is alive with color, as the many beautiful flowers are in bloom.

San Francisco famously boasts some of the steepest streets in the country. Whether you’re walking or driving, the varying gradient of the road is sure to catch your attention and give your heart rate a healthy boost. Lombard Street is one of the most unique of the vertically endowed roads and is a great stop to add to any itinerary.

Brett was too young to remember this view of the Grand Canyon in 1974A powerful and inspiring landscape, Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep.
Grand Canyon, Arizona  1974
In the summer of 1977 we had our first tour of the Smokey Mts on the way to Athens, Georgia courtesy of Marilyn’s national meeting of Veterinary School Administrators. Again we had a full load in our motorhome.
Why its called Great Smoky Mt NP.  We camped in GSMNP on our way to Athens, GA in a very hot early July of 1977 with Brett-age 4, Brad-age 11, Brian-age 12, plus Lenoard & Olive in our 19' mini-motorhome.
Great Smokey Mt NP

On top of Stone Mt, GA
Brett was King of the Mountain (Stone Mt, GA)

During July of 1979 we headed for Toronto with Brad, Leonard and Olive for a NAVCA meeting.

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Toronto from the CN tower (351 metres (1,151 ft) below)
A Honeywell User’s Group meeting took Brian and us to New Orleans for a visit to Bourban Street in 1980.

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Whirlwind tour of New Orleans while heading for Florida
Knoxville, Tennessee was our destination for a NAVCA meeting in 1980. Brett was the lucky passenger that year. Marilyn hates flying so we combined business with pleasure quite often. 

Brett got to visit the zoo in Knoxvilleand ride an elephant
Elephant ride at Knoxville, TN zoo
NAVCA was held at Mississippi State in 1982 and the kids were not along. In 1983 the meeting was held in Stillwater, OK and we were there.
Brett and I visited the BWCA in 1986 and 1987 for some wilderness canoeing with Jerry and Dirk Larson.
DQ or bust
Taking a rest from paddling in BWCA

In the fall of 1988, Brett and Krista traveled with us to Colorado (RMNP) while Marilyn attended the NAVCA in Ft Collins. Hiking the park was exhilarating.
Alberta Falls     Trailhead-Glacier Gorge JunctionOne-way distance-0.6 mile  Difficulty level-easy  Elevation-9,400 feet - we traveled a longer route from Bear Lake - about 6 miles to this point.  It starts out gently, and you'll see many aspen trees along the way. After a short time, the trail gets a little steeper but you'll soon find yourself in an open area with sweeping views of the mountains around you.Glacier Creek will keep you company along part of the trail and in some places, you can go to the edge of the water if you want. At one point, you'll go around a bend and Alberta Falls will suddenly appear in front of you. Krista was 7 and Brett was 15.
Hiking RMNP  1988
The lakeshore trail at Bear Lake is the most-visited trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, due to the convenient access from Bear Lake Road and the easy walking the level loop trail provides.            Distance: 0.5 mile loop trail,  Lake elevation: 9,475 feet, Trailhead elevation: 9,475 feet  Net elevation gain: Negligible  -  Bear Lake Trailhead  Rocky Mountain National Park

Brett and I rafted  the Grand Canyon in June of 1990 with Jerry and Dirk Larson. A truly trip of a lifetime down 289 miles of the Colorado River through the Canyon. Rapids every few miles kept everyone interested and alert.
Mile 7.9 ?You get used to the white water after the first few rapids on the Colorado.
The roar of the rapids was ever present for 7 days on this adventure.

Amtrak took Krista and us to Spokane for the 1991 NAVCA and a tour of Glacier NP.

Krista was the lucky one to accompany us to Glacier in 1991 and 1997
Amtrak is an adventure when you're ten

Glacier NP, 1991- At Logan Pass, Reynolds Mtn and Clements Mountain tower over fields of wildflowers that carpet the ground throughout the summer. Waves of yellow glacier lilies pushing up through the snow are quickly replaced by a variety of alpine plants adapted to this harsh, but spectacularly beautiful, habitat. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and the occasional grizzly bear lumbering through the meadows offer spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.Logan Pass is the highest elevation (6640ft.) reachable by car in the park. It is extremely popular with visitors and the parking lot is generally full between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Consider visiting this destination by using the free shuttles to avoid limited parking, or plan to visit early or late in the day if possible. Early morning light on the mountains provides excellent photographs and the chances to see wildlife are greater before the crowds arrive. Hiking two of the area's most popular trails, the Hidden Lake trail and the Highline trail, is the perfect way to build an appetite for a late supper back at camp or your hotel.35mm slide scan- Fujichrome
Logan Pass, Glacier NP - 1991

In 1992 the NAVCA was in Baton Rouge, LA and Krista toured the bayous with me.
Kansas State hosted the NAVCA in 1993 and we included Branson on our tour with Krista.
While Marilyn went to her boring meetings,Krista and I explored the bayous of Louisiana in 1992
Atchafalaya Basin - 1992

Prince Edward Island was the site of the 1994 NAVCA meeting in Charlottetown. Krista and Olive toured with us that year.
1994  PEI
Cavendish Beach, PEI  1994

Cavendish Lighthouse  - North shore of PEIMarilyn's Mom and Krista explored PEI with me while Marilyn attended her Vet Admin meetings in Charlottetown.
Cavendish is a Canadian National Park

The spring of 1995 included a vacation to Disneyworld in Orlando with Krista and  Brett. Carolyn and Vanessa joined us there also.
Mother Goose will welcome you
Lookout Mt, Tennessee 1995 on the way home

Vanessa, Carolyn & Brett met us at Orlando in April,1995
Disneyworld  1995

Virginia Tech hosted the NAVCA in the fall of 1995 and I did a few local tours. We stopped in a couple of WVA state parks on the way.
A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other, a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. Protecting a diversity of plants and animals, the Parkway meanders for 469 miles, providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.I toured the area while Marilyn attended her annual Vet Admin meetings in Blacksburg,VA.
Blueridge Parkway, VA  1995

Cascades Recreation Area, Jefferson National Forest, PembrokeFor more information call: 540-552-4641About 150,000 visitors a year visit the Cascades. Without question, Cascade Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia and possibly on the entire East Coast. Little Stony Creek falls over a vertical cliff in several different streams. Several streams cascade a couple times on the way down while others fall the whole distance of the falls.The 69 ft. falls crash into a large pool surrounded by two hundred foot cliff walls from which large ice formations hang in the winter. The scene is both breathtaking and peaceful as the falls combine both power and beauty. The falls are also fairly easy to view, with wooden stairs and platforms on one side of the pool allowing a visitor to get very close to the falls as well as allowing a photographer many different angles for photographs.

Cascades Recreation Area near Blacksburg, VA

In 1997 we returned to Glacier NP via Hope, Idaho with Krista.
Glacier NP
Logan Pass, Glacier NP  1997

Door Co, WI was our fall destination in 1998 with the Larsons.
Washington Island, WI, located six miles off the tip of the Door County Peninsula, is a favorite Midwest destination for tourists year-round. People come to Washington Island to get away from the tension of urban life, to travel “North of the Tension Line” and enjoy a slower, relaxing pace of life!
Washington Island, Door Co, WI

Atlanta, GA hosted an IBM users group in 1999 and Olive accompanied us there.
An historic Atlanta home whose name and location has been lost- Help?
Atlanta 1999

We celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2000 with a BHS cruise to Alaska (Glacier Bay) via Seattle. The Larsons and Settevigs were also on this voyage in May. In the fall we visited Branson with the Larsons.
2000 Alaska Cruise 
Glacier Bay NP was the destination of this cruise on the Norwegian Sky.  The Inside Passage was a fun tour we repeated in 2010 on the Island Princess on our way to Anchorage, Alaska.

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Dogwood Canyon is a great day trip when in Branson

Newport, Oregon was our fall excursion with the Larsons in 2001.
The Port of Newport is located on the central Oregon coast in the City of Newport, Lincoln County seat and major business/economic hub of the area, and encompasses approximately 59 square miles and has an estimated population of 10,800 persons. Port boundaries reach north to Otter Rock, east up to six miles inland, south to Seal Rock, and west to the Pacific Ocean. Commercial and sport fishing, fish processing, shipping, tourism, recreation, and lumber and wood processing are the area’s major industries.Sample from Sony CD1000 in 2001Camera     SONY MAVICAISO     80Focal Length     9.2mmAperture     f/4.0Exposure Time     0.0088s (1/113)
Newport, Oregon
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Cape Perpetua, Oregon 2001

We began 2002 with a trip to Naples,FL to visit the Bergseths. In the fall we headed for Stowe, VT with the Corbins and to Lutsen, MN with the Heddings later.
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Giant Banyan tree, Fort Meyers, FL   2002

Mt Washington is the windiest place in North America and a treacherous drive. Our beautiful day ended up shrouded in fog at the top. Taking the cog railway is a better option.

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Rest stop halfway up Mt Washington

2003 took us to Key West, FL in early March and Monteal, Quebec in July for the BHS convention with the Bergseths. A side trip to Stowe, VT also took place.

Sunset worshiping in Key West, FloridaKey West is a city in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1, Sigsbee Park, Fleming Key, and Sunset Key. Both Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park are part of Naval Air Station Key West and are inaccessible by civilians. Key West is the county seat of Monroe County. Key West is the southernmost city in the Continental United States. It also contains the southern terminus of U.S. 1, State Road A1A, the East Coast Greenway and, before 1935, the Florida East Coast Railway.

Whale watching on the St Lawrence with the Larsons ended with a week in NH to check out the fall color. Another trip to Branson was taken in late fall.
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Whale watching on the St Lawrence 2003

Tight fit
Soaring in Stowe, VT
Jerry and I took time for a little soaring near Stowe, VT on this trip. It was a tight fit, but great fun.  2005 included a July trip to Salt Lake City for the BHS convention and some sightseeing in Utah and Colorado on our return with the Berhgseths.

View from the hill NE of the Temple
Salt Lake City -
Mormon Tabernacle
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We included a stop at Arches NP on the way home in 100+ degree temps.

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Crested Butte, CO

 Next was six weeks in Denmark with Sandy Settevig.

Baaring, Copenhagen, Odense, Naestved, Louisiana Museum, Vigelsø Odense Fjord, Vedbaek, Tivoli, Kronborg, Kolding, Endelave, Karise and more
For much more try SMUGMUG 

Then it was a week in Colorado with the Larsons in Steamboat. We finished 2005 with a late fall trip to Branson with Dave and Nancy, and a visit with the Corbins.

The Poudre Canyon is a narrow verdant canyon, approximately 40 mi long, on the upper Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County, Colorado in the United States. The canyon is a glacier-formed valley through the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains northwest of Fort Collins.
Jerry's happy spot - Poudre Canyon

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Branson is always fun, especially with some time at the Corbins in Reeds Spring.

Spring of 2006 was spent with the Carlsons in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and the Smokey Mts. Fall included a Virginia trip to Massanutten and Shenandoah NP.

In 2006 we had a spring tour of SMNP with the Carlsons. We used Pigeon Forge as our base.  Laurel Falls- The roundtrip distance to the waterfall is 2.6 miles and the hike is considered moderate in difficulty. It takes about 2 hours to hike to the waterfall and back.
Laurel Falls, GSMNP  2006

What is Deal's Gap? It's the Dragon's lair of 318 turns in 11 miles. It's the curves, twists and turns of his tail, along with a fiery bite if you get too close! It's also one of the best places to test your skills and courage on a motorcycle and meet a lot of people with the same goal…Slay the Dragon! Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Deals Gap tends to be a very popular spot among motorcycle riders of all sorts. Whether you're in for a nice slow stroll or a hot fast ride…beware!!! The Dragon sometimes wins!
Deal's Gap - GSMNP  2006

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Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson—designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than forty years—and its gardens were a botanic showpiece, a source of food, and an experimental laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world.

No trip to Virginia is complete without a stop at Monticello.

2007 began with a spring trip(with the Settevigs) to Williamsburg, VA, Edisto Beach, SC and Lake Lure, NC with the Corbins. I spent a few days in Albuquerque at the BHS Mid-winter also. Summer included a Crow Duck Lake trip with Jim and some time at Two Harbors. Fall meant another visit to Branson as well.

Mere brick and mortar contained the combustion of ideas that were catalyst to the American Revolution. The opulent Governor's Palace was the embodiment of British order in the colonies. The Capitol was witness to the vote for America's move to independence. The Raleigh Tavern's neutral setting encouraged free debate. The Magazine held the colony's guns and ammunition, standing as a literal symbol of self-reliance.

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There's a lot of history to see in Virginia and Williamsburg is a great place to start. 

Battersea in Petersburg proved to be an interesting addition to our visit also.

We always catch fish when Dave guides
Side Saddle Walleye fishing in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba

2008 started with a BHS Mid-winter in San Antonio and a spring visit via Amtrak to Vancouver Island with the Carlsons. August included a quick trip to the Wisconsin Dells with the family and fall was a major tour of New England with the Heddings.

Real Texas Longhorns

San Antonio still has cowboys and longhorns.
Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world – some more than 800 years old.
Cathederal Grove, Vancouver Island  2008

The sun always shines on departure day
Vermont has a good taste in the fall.

2009 was initiated with a BHS Mid-winter to Pasadena and a few days in San Diego. Spring took us to Branson with the Settevigs, Heddings and Johnsons for some celebrating. August was WI Dells time and fall included a trip to Itasca with the Heddings.

Echo Park, Los Angeles
Echo Park, LA

With janet at La Jolla
La Jolla, CA  2009

A fantastic resort overlooking Table Rock about 10 miles south of Branson.

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Crossing the Mississippi at Itasca SP   2009

We partied with the Heddings in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Lake of the Ozarks and Breezy Point celebrating our 50th in 2010 multiple times and places.


No 1 train ride so far. Alaska RR Coastal Classic to Seward from Anchorage and back.Chugach National ForestThe Chugach National Forest borders Turnagain Arm, some six million acres, the second largest in the U.S. Bald eagles cruise the thermals above and Dall sheep come to feed on the low plants growing on the cliffs bordering the track. Next comes Potter Marsh in the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. Anchorage is the final stop, 114 miles out of Seward.
Alaska RR Coastal Classic to Seward

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Haystack Rocks at Canon Beach, Oregon  2010

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A good day at the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland

The spring of 2011 found us back in Branson with the Heddings and then in the Fall there was another excursion to Steamboat, CO with the Corbins.

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Celebrating spring with the Corbins

Jean & Fritz enjoyed the view
Dunckley Pass with the Corbins

Maroon Bells in October - south of Aspen
The Maroon Bells in Aspen are world famous and photographed non-stop

2012 began with a trip to Door Co with the Heddings in May and an Amtrak ride to Washington to start our travels to Banff in June. In Sep we headed for Wyoming and Yellowstone with the Heddings.

Built in 1868, automated in 1926. The Door County Historical Society has restored this structure in Peninsula State Park and turned it into a living museum. Tours are operated daily through the third weekend in October. A state park sticker is required.
Door County, Wisconsin

Peyto Lake, Banff

Yoho's jewel of the Canadian Rockies near Field, BC  2013
Emerald Lake, Yoho NP

The Lower Geyser Basin encompasses nearly 12 square miles, with most of the thermal features widely scattered in small groups. Some of the groups include the Fountain Group, Firehole Lake Group, White Dome Group, Great Fountain - White Creek Group, and the Imperial Group.

Yellowstone on SMUGMUG 

May of 2013 found us in Two Harbors enjoying spring ice. Later in May we headed for St Louis, Lake of the Ozarks and Branson. Tom and I headed for Banff and Jasper in Sep and yet again to Branson in October.

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Two Harbors, MN

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Grand Auglaize Suspension Bridge

Early light is bestLocated in the majestic Maligne Valley, this exquisite lake is the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world, stretching 22 km. (14 mi.). A one-and-a-half hour boat cruise will take you past glacier-studded mountain peaks to world-famous Spirit Island in summer. Boat Cruise open May - October.
Jasper NP, Canada

2014 started with a stay at Two Harbors with the Heddings. The fall was our first trip to Sedona, Arizona (via Colorado and Utah) and ended with another visit to Branson and the Corbins.

Will Arizona top this? We'll soon see.
Steamboat Lake SP   2014

Trails on the Island in the Sky; level walks to viewspoints at the edge of the plateau, and strenuous hikes down towards the rivers - La Sal Mts in the background - Canyonlands NP, Utah. A quick tour on the way to Sedona.
Canyonlands NP, Utah 2014

Ooops, another head.  It was quite a feat to obtain an unobstructed view
Sedona, Airport Vista

Marilyn, myself and the Heddings went to New Orleans in January of 2015 for the BHS Mid-winter via Amtrak. We trekked around the city via trolleys.

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St Louis Cathederal, New Orleans
May 29th found us on the way to Lutsen, MN for a week at Caribou Highlands IN the Lutsen Mts. We had some rain later in the week, but enjoyed Cascade, Temperance, Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail before the clouds rolled in. The Larsons joined us on Tuesday which made the week even more enjoyable.

The Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway begins in Grand Marais and winds 57 paved wilderness miles northwest near the border of Canada. It’s the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness/BWCAW; named one of the world’s “50 places of a lifetime” by National Geographic.Time spent up here is GOLDEN

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More to come in 2015... (Durango, Great Sand Dunes NP, Colorado Springs..)

By train – Seattle, Spokane, Portland, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells
By ship – Glacier Bay NP, Anchorage, AK
NPs – Glacier, Mt Rainier, Crater Lake, Glacier Bay, Yosemite, Denali, Wrangel, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde, Great Smokey Mt, Rocky Mt, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Shenandoah, Everglades, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Voyageurs, Acadia, Petrified Forest, North Cascades, Olympic, 

Glacier MT, Rocky Mt, Grand Canyon, Smokey Mt, Black Canyon, Grand Tetons, Denali, Acadia, Mt Rainier, Crater Lake, Yosemite, Glacier Bay, Arches, Yellowstone and MORE