National Parks Master Traveler Award

The National Parks Master Traveler Certification was a tougie.  I started it when I thought I was going to go up through the northeast on a business trip.  I had already gotten a Golden Eagle National Park pass (it is a pass that allows free admission to National Parks for a year) from a vacation earlier in the summer, so the admission wouldn't cost me anything extra.  I got everything in line and then the business trip fell apart.  I decided I wanted to do it anyway so I started it off with a BB1500 over through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  Day trips got me a few other surrounding states.  Now I had all the states right around me and I had only eight of the required 25 states.  What does that mean?  Road Trip!  This spring I did a coast to coast (CC50).  Going coast to coast allowed me to tack on several more states, but I missed out on New Mexico.  I need to go back and pick it up sometime.  So that had me a little closer.  An over night trip in late spring up took me up through Ozarks into MO and over into KS.  Another overnight trip knocked out IL, IN, and KY.  By this time I was already over the required 50 parks, but I was still short by about five states.  Sounds like it is time to go to DC.  So the last week of July with my Golden Eagle Passport running out, I made a pass up through VA, WV, MD, PA, DC, and SC.  I also went through NC, but not at a time when any parks were open.  So I left a hole there too.  Returning home with another 20 days on the clock, but with the thermometer hovering around 100 and my Golden Eagle Passport spent, I pulled the plug on it, made my copies, and sent them off to Mike Kneebone and company.  Click on this if you want to see the certificate.

This was not an easy certification to get.  It required a lot of planning and several nights in motel rooms to get.  On the other hand it let me do some things I had always wanted to do but hadn't.  For one I made the coast to coast run.  I left Jacksonville, FL one morning and the next day before midnight I was in San Diego, CA.  Pretty amazing thing to do.  I got to see the sites at the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, the cactus of Saguaro.  I spent several quality hours on the Natchez Trace (always a good thing).  And I found out that the Catoctin Mountians might be the prettiest place on earth (and I had never heard of them until I found myself in them between Antietam and Gettysburg).  All in all it was pretty good ride.  I hope to do it again some day.  But, when I do it again, I want to do the gold version.  To do the gold version you have to do the corners of the nation, Maine, Florida, California, and Alaska.  So, when the time comes in a few years for me to do the Key West to Deadhorse, AK run, I will do my best to knock out a bunch of states at the same time.

Here is a graphic summary and a complete listing of the parks I have visited in my quest to obtain the IBA National Park Master Traveler Award.

Summary of National Park Passport Cancellation Stamps
Description Total Goal
Total Stamps 76 50
Number of States 25 25

And now the complete list

# Park/Unit - Top Line Location - Bottom Line Date
1 Natchez Trace Parkway Mount Locust Plantation 8/21/2004
2 Natchez National Historical Park William Johnson House 8/21/2004
3 Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez, MS 8/21/2004
4 Natchez National Historical Park Melrose 8/21/2004
5 Big Thicket National Preserve Beaumont, TX 8/22/2004
6 Cane River Creole N.H.P. Natchez, LA 8/22/2004
7 Cane River National Heritage Area Natchitoches, LA 8/22/2004
8 U.S.S. Cairo Museum Vicksburg, MS 8/25/2004
9 Vicksburg Nat'l Military Park Vicksburg, MS 8/25/2004
10 Tuskegee Airmen Nat'l Hist Site Tuskegee, AL 9/3/2004
11 Tuskegee Institute NHS Tuskegee Institute, AL 9/3/2004
12 Selma to Montgomery, NHT Selma-Montgomery, AL 9/3/2004
13 Jimmy Carter Nat'l Historic Site Plains, GA 9/3/2004
14 Andersonville National Historic Site Andersonville, GA 9/3/2004
15 Shiloh National Military Park Corinth Ms Civil War Center 9/4/2004
16 Shiloh NMP Shiloh, TN 9/4/2004
17 Trail of Tears National Historic Trail NC, GA, TN, KY, IL, MO, OK, AR 9/4/2004
18 Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Arkansas Post 1/15/2005
19 Arkansas Post National Memorial Gillett, AR 1/15/2005
20 Poverty Point State Historic Site 2/11/2005
21 Natchez Trace Parkway Kosciusko 2/12/2005
22 Natchez Trace Parkway Jeff Busby, MS 2/12/2005
23 Gulf Islands National Seashore Ocean Springs, MS 4/1/2005
24 Gulf Islands NS - Naval Live Oaks Gulf Breeze, FL 4/2/2005
25 Gulf Islands National Seashore Fla NS Trail 4/2/2005
26 Gulf Islands National Seashore Ft. Barrancas, FL 4/2/2005
28 Mohave National Preserve Barstow, CA 4/6/2005
29 Mohave National Preserve Baker, CA 4/6/2005
31 Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon, AZ 4/7/2005
32 Glen Canyon NRA Page, AZ 4/7/2005
33 Hovenweep National Monument Utah - Colorado 4/7/2005
34 Mesa Verde National Park Mesa Verde, CO 4/7/2005
35 Yucca House National Monument Cortez, CO 4/7/2005
36 Washita Battlefield NHS Cheyenne, OK 4/8/2005
37 Hot Springs National Park Hot Springs, AR 6/10/2005
38 Pea Ridge Nat'l Military Park Pea Ridge, AR 6/9/2005
41 Ft. Scott Nat'l Historic Site Fort Scott, KS 6/9/2005
42 Wilson's Creek Nat'l Battlefield Republic, MO 6/10/2005
43 Buffalo National River Harrison, AR 6/10/2005
44 Buffalo National River Pruitt, AR 6/10/2005
45 Buffalo National River Tyler Bend, AR 6/10/2005
46 Buffalo National River Buffalo Point, AR 6/10/2005
47 Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Ft. Kaskaskia, IL 7/15/2005
48 Lincoln Boyhood Nat'l Memorial Lincoln City, IN 7/15/2005
49 Mammouth Cave National Park Mammouth Cave, KY 7/16/2005
50 Natchez Trace Parkway Leipers Fork, TN 7/16/2005
51 Natchez Trace Parkway Colbert Ferry, AL 7/16/2005
53 Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo, MS 7/16/2005
54 Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo National Battlefield 7/16/2005
56 Natchez Trace Parkway Brices Cross Roads 7/16/2005
57 Natchez Trace Parkway French Camp, MS 7/16/2005
58 Natchez Trace Parkway Meriwether Lewis Monument 7/16/2005
59 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 7/30/2005
60 C&O Canal National Historical Park Sandy Hook, MD 7/30/2005
61 Antietam National Battlefield Sharpsburg, MD 7/30/2005
62 Catoctin Mountain Park Thurmont, MD 7/30/2005
63 Gettysburg National Military Park Cyclorama 7/30/2005
64 Gettysburg National Military Park Gettysburg, PA 7/30/2005
65 Theodore Roosevelt Island Washington, DC 7/30/2005
66 George Washington Memorial Parkway McLean, VA 7/30/2005
67 Marine Corps Memorial / Netherlands Carillon Arlington, VA 7/30/2005
68 Lydon B. Johnson Memorial Grove Washington, DC 7/30/2005
69 Theodore Roosevelt Island Arlington, VA 7/30/2005
70 Arlington House Arlington, VA 7/30/2005
71 US Marine Corps Memorial Arlington, VA 7/30/2005
72 George Washington Memorial Parkway Arlington, VA 7/30/2005
73 Kings Mountain Nat'l Military Park Blacksburg, SC 7/31/2005
74 Overmountain Victory Nat'l Hist. Trail South Carolina 7/31/2005
75 Overmountain Victory Trail Cowpens NB 7/31/2005
76 Cowpens National Battlefield Chesnee, SC 7/31/2005

Last Updated October 19, 2005

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