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Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service!

August 25, 2016
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McClure Lakes in Yosemite National Park; 15 miles from Tuolumne Meadows and 2 miles off the PCT

Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service!

Today is Founder’s Day, the day that the National Park Service was created by President Woodrow Wilson, and today recognizes 100 years of our national parks.

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I am grateful that I have been to, camped at, hiked in, and written about many of our National Parks. In fact, I wrote my senior thesis about many of the ones I visited along the Pacific Crest Trail, and my master thesis included poetry that I wrote about Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.

While I didn’t follow this route, this is how you could visit all the parks in one two month long trip according to Randal Olson, a data scientist and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. Check out the interactive map here.

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And I am fortunate that I can see a National Park almost every day–and visit one too– because the Channel Islands National Park is located just a few miles away!

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Like many National Parks, today is a special one at Channel Islands, where the Ventura Port District is hosting a celebration today from 5:00 to 10:00 pm at the Ventura Harbor Village with yoga, live music, food, crafts, and a beer garden serving the limited edition “1916-2016” ale, brewed by Surf Brewery in recognition of the National Park Service Centennial.

The event will also include a special outdoor screening of selections from the new documentary, West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Islands. Produced by Sam Tyler and written and directed by Peter Seaman and Brent Sumner, this documentary “provides an in-depth look into 13,000 years of human history on the Channel Islands, with intriguing stories ranging from the evidence of first island people, to the rich tradition of island ranching, to today’s tomol paddlers and Shark Park surfers. The outdoor screening, which begins at 8:00 pm, will feature six of the film’s fourteen stories. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and to bring blankets, chairs, and warm layers.”

NPS also notes that “Two local alternative rock bands will perform with music from a new group Gold + Gray from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and the popular Todd Hannigan from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Food options from Ventura Harbor Village restaurants and specialty food trucks will be available from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The beer garden, located in the upstairs patio adjacent to the main lawn, will be serving beverages from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.”

You can also “create personalized birthday hats, or participate in fabric block printing, featuring designs that celebrate Channel Islands National Park’s natural and cultural resources. …The National Park Service Centennial honors 100 years of national parks, and sets the stage for another 100 years of helping Americans make meaningful connections to nature, history, and culture.”

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Cheers to our National Parks! (Read more about what I am toasting with, Sequoia Grove’s Cabernet Sauvignon).

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