“Customarily, particularly in America, when you meet someone, the first question is ‘what do you do for a living?’ But people we would meet, we would say, ‘did you see this waterfall? What about that herd of bison, a few miles back?’ That’s what we were focused on. We could have a very long conversation with somebody before it would come up what they did for a living.” 

Don and Shelly Hafner did much more than complete the mission of visiting all 59 National Parks before we did. They were inspiring pioneers, generous mentors, and simply kindhearted individuals.

We first met Don and Shelly when we were planning our own big trip and they were about to take off on theirs. They completed their mission of visiting the parks in July 2015, one month before we left to follow in their footsteps.

Today, we invite them to chat about their trip — the takeaways, the dogs that accompanied them, the impressively low number of arguments, and more — on our newest episode of Switchbacks.



You can find Don & Shelly:

We’ll be back next week with another Top Ten list: this time, our 10 favorite day hikes of the trip. Have a great week!

Written by Elizabeth

  • Eileen

    I just figured out how to listen to your podcasts on my walks via SoundCloud. I’ll eventually get caught up!
    I loved when you were talking about meeting people & job wasn’t one of the top questions. My husband & I went on a road trip in early October that included all 5 of the Utah NP. It was baseball playoff season & we wore our Cubs gear proudly. Our most common question/comment was Go Cubs! Wearing our Purdue gear also promped a lot of discussion. Jobs never came up; it was mostly about the hike we were on or “where are you from?”
    Keep up the great work on the podcast!

    • Thanks for finding us, Eileen! Glad to hear it 🙂