National treasures

So I finally, finally! finished watching Ken Burns’ “National Parks” documentary this week …

It only took me a month … To get through all 12 hours and six episodes worth. At times, I had to work hard to keep watching over Phoebe’s shouting, or crying. There were other times where I simply couldn’t stay awake. There were parts of the documentary I had to watch three or four times because I missed things and I wanted to make sure I saw it all.

But it was worth seeing it all.

I have a good friend from high school, Ali, whose life long dreams include seeing all of the Major League ballparks and all of the National Parks … The ballpark idea I can relate to completely, of course. And now, finally, I get her motivation on the national park idea.

Sure, I knew some of John Muir’s and Theodore Roosevelt’s histories with the parks.

And I’ve always been fascinated by the pictures I’ve seen of the Redwood forest and Old Faithful and Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. They’re all on my list of places I want visit before I die.

But, after watching Burns' documentary, they're on a list of places I must visit before I die … Along with Yosemite, the Everglades, Crater Lake and countless other national parks featured in the documentary. Places I had no idea were so hallowed, or were even protected as national parks. I had no idea the country had so many national parks …

Burns' film serves up a rich lesson about the controversies and fights to preserve our national parks, along with the people and personalities who fell so deeply in love with them along the way ...

When the last picture of the last episode faded last night, I let out a deep, satisfied sigh. Having just watched some of the park historians tell their personal stories of visiting national parks with their children, I moved to the kitchen where Kates was making dinner and patted her on the back.

"Some day," I told her.

Good reads ...
a Anyone watching Ken Burns' 'National Parks,' the most beautiful show on TV?
a Pride and preservation Ken Burns’s ‘Parks’ a vast undertaking
a 'National Parks': Camped Out, But Trailing Off

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