National Week of the Ocean on March, 2018: Which national park is your favorite?

National Week of the Ocean 2018. Poster Page Week of the Ocean Poster

Which national park is your favorite?

Good evening Jess,

I hope you had a great day. I have been to many national parks because I love to hike, camp and fish. Many national parks, like the Grand Canyon and Bryce, I would classify as beautiful and spectacular but I would not want to see them again. They have no varieties of beautiful.

The Mighty High Sierra Nevada Mountain range contains three (3) national parks. The first time I hiked the John Muir Trail through the Mighty High Sierra Nevada Mountains was in 1960. I was fifteen (15).

(U.S.)

We lived off the land and saw three people in two months. In 1995, we saw over a hundred people in one week. Today people have set reservations lasting for years. The trash and waste is so bad that park rangers have decided to close many of the inner lakes.

Other national parks, like Yellowstone and Yosemite, are simply beautiful but today they are nothing but parking lots with thousands of people. The waiting line to get inside is over a mile long. Camp reservations can take a year or more.

Trash trucks continuously pick up trash and waste. What is worse, the parks are too overcrowded with people. The overcrowding of people has caused an explosion in the rat/mice population. The rats/mice carry diseases and virus. Today as I write, thousands of people (over 10,000 people) have been warned about the Hantavirus in Yosemite. Most of our national parks are in the same condition, overcrowded.

My third favorite park is Sequoia National Park. I visit Sequoia National Park at least every other year. I believe this is truly God’s country. I walk with giant Redwood Trees born before Christ. I have been praying and thanking General Sherman for brings me back from Vietnam for over forty years. Not even fire can destroy General Sherman in Sequoia National Park.

My second favorite park is Death Valley. Death Valley is breathtaking. There is no place on earth like Death Valley. Death Valley is three (3) million acres of multicolored rock layers with sand dunes and rocks. It is the hottest, driest, and lowest point (below sea level) in the United States. There are rocks that move on their own. It is a land of extremes.

I return every four or five years and especially after the once every ten (10) year rains. Millions of wild flowers get an opportunity to show off their blooms after the long sleep. I love Death Valley National Park, especially the night sky. The view of the heavens is indescribable. But even today the lights of Las Vegas are affecting the night sky. Scientist calls it “light pollution”.

Mankind is slowly destroying all.

So what is left? My favorite National park is “The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The National sanctuary runs along the California coast for 276 miles and covers 6094 square miles of ocean. In my opinion it is what a park should be doing, saving beauty and animals for future generations. Because of this concept, the park has a major effect on inland animals and the land surrounding it for miles.

You can enjoy watching California Gray whales with their young, otters raising their young and playing as a family, while seals play in the surf beside you with giant California Condors and eagles flying high in the clear sky. Most of these animals have come back from near extinction. Inland there are fields filled with thousands of wild flowers and thousands of Monarch Butterflies flying through the branches of 2000 year old Coastal Redwood Trees.

Jess, if you take your time and go through the website below you will understand why this is my number one pick. Read what Henry Miller states half way down the website on the right hand side. Click on the ecology of Big Sur at the bottom.

Thanks for your question. You and your family have a beautiful day. Peace from Los Angeles.

We are going to drive Great Ocean Road

We are going to drive Great Ocean Road, can you tell me what the must see and do's are along the journey?

For some stops along the Great Ocean Road look here:

Not far away is the Grampians National Park. Nice Views, great walks, etc:

To the (south)west of Portland there's Cape Nelson with a lighthouse and Cape Bridgewater with a seal colony and a pertified forest.

For more things to see look at this site which offers photos, descriptions, links, etc of the Great Ocean Road, Grampians NP, etc.:

Going to Costa Rica for 5 weeks. Where are some good places to stay?

Going to Costa Rica for 5 weeks. Where are some good places to stay?

If this is your first time to Costa Rica, here are my suggestions:

Cities to visit

1. Tortuguero - this unique city is accessible only by boat and sits in the middle of a National Park. There are a number of lodging options at a variety of price points, and nearly all of them include meals. You can do water activities such as kayaking. You can take guided tours of the canals. There is a beautiful beach that you can visit, but there are restrictions during turtle season. If you are there during turtle season, you can make arrangements to see the turtles nest (which is amazing). This is an ideal area for relaxing and doing some quality time with your new spouse. We had a cabin on stilts with a nice porch and rocking chairs (I'm totally addicted to the standard hotel rocking chairs that seem to be everywhere I go in CR). We could hear the monkeys from our cabin. On the guided canal tours, we saw many monkeys, iguanas, toucans and other cool birds. In the small town of Tortuguero, they have places to catch a meal, shop, or arrange activities.

2. Arenol - This is a huge drawl for new visitors to Costa Rica. They have a beautiful active cone volcano. Unfortunately, it isn't as active as it used to be, and there is no guarantee you'll get to see a good light show, especially if you go during green season when the cloud cover is thicker. Regardless, I still love it here. The hot springs are a great way to spend a day, and there are many 'hot springs' options to consider once you are there. Someone mentioned the Tabacon Resort and Spa - and I admit that it is a fantastic 5 star resort, but its not cheap (think $500 - $1500 a night). There are many other very nice options at a fraction of the cost. Check the link that I included for some price comparison. There are more options than what they've advertised and a little googling will help you find the one that will appeal to you the most.

3. Monteverde - if you have interests in zip lining, bird watching, or native fauna - this is the place to be. Monteverde is a cloud forest which makes it a little different than many other parts of Costa Rica. They have some of the best zip lining in the country and people come from all over the world to go bird watching here. They have a large tourist population here and have many places to eat, shop and stay.

4. Manual Antonio - right outside the National Park, if is off-season this can be a great place to be. During the dry season, its miserably overcrowded and not worth the effort. The National Park, although small, is overflowing with wildlife. Monkeys, sloths, crocs, iguanas and many others. The beach at the NP is one of the most beautiful in the world. Its a heavy tourist area and there are plenty of lodging options, restaurants, and activity options. There is a spa nearby and public beaches. We stayed at the Costa Verde and I adored our room. The resort is huge, but the way its designed (and we went off-season), its compartmentalized in a way that makes you feel very private. There are hiking trails on site and iguanas and monkeys come out of the rain forest on a regular bases. I highly recommend the open-air rooms (adults only tower), you can hear the monkeys all night and feel the breeze coming off the ocean while you sleep. They also have private bungalows and such to rent.

There are many other small treasures all over Costa Rica and after multiple trips, I'm still discovering them. There are also many many lodging options. For every $500 room, you'll find a 100 $10 hostels, and everything in between. Being your honeymoon, you may or may not want to do a few 'splurge' nights at some of the high end hotels, and there are plenty to chose from if that's what you want to do. Tabacon Resort, Peace Lodge Resort, and many more. Check anywherecostarica.com to do some price comparisons, but keep in mind an additional google search doesn't hurt either. Many of the places I've stayed aren't listed in there.

Also on this date Thursday, March 1, 2018...