National Parks Origin Story
Squawwwk!!! Carl the Flamingo here. goodr CEO, shrimp aficionado, (and lucky you) your national parks tour guide!!! We've got nine fantastic parks to see, so grab your trail mix, fill that canteen, and let's goooo!!!
First up is Joshua Tree National Park! This gorgeous landscape is filled with ethereal mystery, red rocks, and people looking to "find themselves". If one of these people asks you for directions back to the trail, take a swig of your canteen and say "The trail is inside YOU, man." It'll blow their minds. Know what else will blow their minds? The fact that the joshua tree isn't even a tree. It's a yucca plant! Tricky stuff those joshua trees, but I see the REAL you. And you're beautiful, babe.
The first national park ever established in the United States was Yellowstone. Home to an abundance of stunning ecosystems, wildlife, and Old Faithful. (Not a nickname for Carl the Flamingo, for many reasons) Anyway, we'll get to Old Faithful, the famous geyser who regularly erupts every 44 minutes to two hours. We'll also get to prehistoric pools like the Grand Prismatic Spring which is the largest hot spring in the United States, and it’s rainbow colored!!! That's my kind of party. Finally, did you know that ALL of Yellowstone is a supervolcano! That's a real geological thing, not just a weird compliment.
Redwood National Park
Need some perspective with a dash of truly majestic beauty? Go to Redwood National Park. The redwood trees are, on average, 500-700 years old, and are 250-300 feet tall!!! (Almost as big as my ego.) They're wiser than you, ya know-it-all, and don’t get insecure now, but waaaaaay bigger too. Still not impressed?! Well, hug that giant tree if you can get your arms around it! (HAAA jokes on you, because you can’t.)
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a cavalcade of natural wonders. Not least of which is the chance to use the word "cavalcade" when describing it. From the famed Half-Dome, to the famed "glowing rocks" at sunset, to the famed hikers who rock National Park goodr sunnies on its famed trails, this is a very famed park indeed. Want to see nature in all its splendor? You could do a lot worse than Yosemite, but it’s hard to do much better.
Everglades National Park
The Everglades are never trying to impress you. This national park just does it without trying. It’s the largest of wetlands in all of the United States making it home to unique ecosystems, that bear unique consequences. For example, alligators and crocs live in toothy aquatic reptilian coexistence here!!! They're basically living dinosaurs. But anyway, these glades are like hips - they don’t lie. This place brings things back to the source. So grab a swamp boat and enjoy the thick, primal, atmosphere. If boats aren't your thing, plenty of hikes and camping abound. Still unsure, eh? Don't say “no” and be a "neverglade". Say “YES,” and enjoy the Everglades! (Please don’t get carried off by a giant mosquito.)
Glacier National Park
Though this flamingo prefers hotter, more humid climates, I'm not above the northern delights of the incredible Glacier National Park. You know your main flamingo Carl is all about peace and love. Well this is part of the first international peace park! And there's nothing more peaceful and awe-inspiring than seeing the iconic "Going-to-the-Sun Road" in person. There's also a TON of mountain goats here. Mountain goats are famous for really knowing their mountains. So you know this park has got the goods in that department.
How long has the Grand Canyon been grand? It’s been that way since literally before the 90s, as in 90 A.D. Point being, this place is truly one of the natural wonders of the world and we're lucky to have it in our backyard. Whether hiking alongside the cliffs, kayaking on its sparkling blue ribbon of a river, or exploring its ancient caves, you've got plenty to keep you occupied. But as the Grand Canyon says, “it’s the PEOPLE that make it grand, honestly.” Oh Grand Canyon, stop being so modest!
Great Smoky Mountains
This is the most visited national park in the country. One visit here and you'll understand why. It's gorgeous!!! It's also the salamander capital of the world. It's entirely possible that a huge percentage of the national parks-visiting population has a thing for hanging with salamanders, and just aren't talking about it. We can’t say for sure, as this research hasn't been done. But my flamingo gut tells me it’s so. Anyway, you didn't come here to talk about salamanders. (Or DID you?!) Point is, this park is THE most biodiverse park in the country. So you're gonna see cool stuff no matter what part of the park you visit! (You're going there to see the salamanders. AREN'T YOU?! Just admit it already!!!)
Rocky Mountain National Park
This park is a national treasure, with horizon-expanding mountain vistas, incredible hikes, and is home to hundreds of bird species. (You can add one more to the count if you include your trusty park guide, aka yours truly!!!) This park is so beloved and so revered, because it truly has it all - crystal clear lakes, subalpine trails, wildflowers, an abundance of wildlife, and uh…oh yeah, mountains! In fact, it has some of the highest elevations of all the national parks! So whether it’s truly breathtaking views, life transforming hikes, or bird watching, this park has you covered and then some. (I won’t blame you for looking at other birds besides me. I get it, and I don’t get jealous.)
That's just nine amazing national parks. There's a lot more. But start here. And if you rock some of these goodrs while you're there, take a photo. Your face will glow like Half Dome at sunset! (No promises on it actually glowing, but you WILL look beautiful!)
Keep Climbing, Keep Flying!
Carl - goodr CEO and national parks #1 Flamingo Fan
THE SUNNIES THAT STARTED IT ALL
THE STORY BEHIND THE SHADES