SWITCHBACKmini: Others in the #All59 Club
If you think we are the only ones crazy enough to visit all 59 National Parks in the span of a year, you’re about to be sorely disappointed. When we first thought up the idea to visit all 59 National Parks in one year in March 2014 we were caught off guard by our ambition and our seeming novelty. After a quick search of the interwebs we couldn’t find anyone else who had tackled that feat (and shared their story online). We thought, “Are we going to be pioneers?” However in the following months we had one revelation after another… There are others! They are out there!
Here are the 3 other pairs of all 59 National Parks travelers completing the feat in about a year. They are all awesome and you should check them out!
1. Don and Shelly of 59NationalParks.com — This couple was the first 59ers we ran across through a National Park forum. They took off in their RV with their two dogs in April 2014 and ended 62 weeks later in July 2015. And if the similarities in our objective weren’t enough, they also uprooted from Kansas City for the adventure! Small world! We actually met up with Don and Shelly once during their trip and once after and they have been great predecessors. You should really check out some of Shelly’s awesome photography on Instagram, @59NationalParks!
2. Darius and Trevor of 59in59.com — I didn’t find these fellow young 59er friends until this fall. Crazily enough, the week after I found story about their trip an old high school friend who had heard about our trip messaged me to introduce me to his friend from the University of Virginia, Darius, who was on the same mission as us. Once again, small world! Fellow tent campers Darius and Trevor took off in June 2015 and will end the same time as us on the NPS Centennial (8/25/16). We loved keeping up with their fun Facebook updates. Then one day we realized we would be exploring the National Parks of Hawaii and American Samoa at the same time, so we managed to coordinate the same homestay 2 weeks ago in Vatia, American Samoa. It was awesome to finally meet them, share our kindred adventure spirits and explore the farthest park together!
3. Jonathan and Stephanie of TheGreatestRoadTrip.com — We ran across this couple most recently in a Huffington Post article. They are a professional writer and photographer couple traveling the parks during all 2016 for National Geographic. They are living in their sponsored Airstream. Their site has lots of great resources for parks. We hope to run into them along the trail!
And there are still others! People who have different methods and goals to travel the National Parks. We actually had a chance run-in with a pair of recent high school grads traveling to all the U.S. mainland parks in a year (see People of the Parks for Everglades). Another young couple is doing the same thing. A family completed their mission of visiting all 59 National Parks over a number of years before their kids turned 18 a few years ago. At one point I heard of a guy traveling to lots of National Parks to photograph a sunset and sunrise in each.
My phone background (image courtesy of Humana) >
And the cool part is that we are all just normal people. We just decided to escape from the concrete jungles and 9-5 worlds, if only for a while, to embrace our inner adventurer, heed the call of Mother Nature and share our National Parks. It can be done!
So I pose the question to anyone, if adventure beckons and Mother Nature is calling, how will you answer.
(Image courtesy of Humana)