We are a retired baby-boomer couple, now living on the western slopes of the Colorado Rockies. We met and married in Albuquerque and, frustrated with our jobs, retired early to an off-grid home near Taos, New Mexico. Recently, we moved to Colorado to be closer to family. We have two Welsh Corgis, Smooch and Fleur, who keep us busy and happy.
We have found several things to make retirement more fun. We both like to cook and share kitchen duties. Joan used to paint but has now moved into sewing and has a line of Western-style shirts (QCreationsClothing.com). I like to watch Oscar-nominated movies and publish reviews (MichaelsMovieMoments.com).
But the activity that we really enjoy doing together is to travel. For several years now, we have focused on a bucket list of more than 220 National Parks, Monuments, and Seashores. (As of this writing we have been to a little more than half of them). We have a small travel trailer and a large SUV to pull it. The four of us take off for, sometimes, months at a time visiting the parks in different parts of the country. We have learned to really appreciate what the National Park System offers in terms of natural beauty, historical interest, and outdoor recreation – for us, mostly hiking. It is part of our goal to enthusiastically communicate our love for the National Parks.
That is what our trips, this website, and the books we publish, are all trying to do.
That would be me, Michael Young. But there is a little story there.
As seniors, we do not pay an admission fee to parks – a perk that we really appreciate. So to support our parks, we always go to the park store and buy a few things. Usually that includes some books that help explain the park more, some gifts for family, and souvenirs to help us remember our visits.
In bigger parks, I usually buy a tee shirt or some other article of clothing. In smaller parks, my souvenir is usually a pin or a patch that highlights the park. At first, I just collected the items, but found that stuffing the patches away in a drawer didn’t really serve any purpose. So Joan began to sew them onto one of my fleece over shirts.
One day in Glacier National Park, I was wearing that shirt and a neighboring camper happened to see me. After scanning the patches and pins he asked if we had actually been to all of them. Proudly I said that yes, indeed we had. And he replied, ‘well you’re a regular Mister Parks’.
So as long as our tradition survives so shall the name –