Earlier this year when Mr. Fae and I decided to travel and visit the Utah National Park system and we were in the first park of the visit, Arches, we stopped into the park headquarters. We usually do this anytime we travel to a new park because we find out about visiting sites within the park we didn’t know about. On this trip, while I was strolling through the gift shop area, I took notice of a kiosk that I’ve seen from time to time at all of the parks. Perusing the area, I read about the National Park Passport system. I had heard about it before but didn’t pay it any attention. It described how visiting the national parks can be logged on a ‘passport’ book complete with hand cancelled stamps with date and park name on it. When you visit a new park, you walk into the headquarters, locate the cancellation booth and stamp your book. In looking through the examples I thought that this would be fun to go through with the grandkids when they got a little older.
I bought one.
And then I regretted not buying one when they first came out years and years ago. Do you know how many national parks we’ve visited in just the past two years?? Argh.
One other thing that they have to sell you (oh yes they do!) are stickers of each particular park that you can place ever so OCD-like next to your hand cancellation stamp.
Now it just isn’t national PARKS that belong in the system, national historical SITES and BATTLEFIELDS and MONUMENTS and SEASHORES and, well, you get the picture. As of 2008, there were 391 parks/etc. administered by the Park system. One site that is on my bucket list is actually just a building and that’s Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
However, my goal is to try to visit all that we have on the west coast before traveling east to see those. Here are two from this summer.One thing that I do not want to do is re-visit parks just to get a cancellation stamp.
I have the ability to re-create the cancellation stamps of parks that we’ve already been to. I know the dates we were there via my scrapbooks and can duplicate the region’s color for stamp itself. I have already made several of them already.
Call it cheating if you must but some of these parks I will never visit again, guaranteed.
Each year the park system issues a National Stamp as it’s centerpiece for the passport system. I bought the 2012 stamp to highlight the year I started the passport even though some of my cancellations will be from years prior to that. It is of Shiloh National Military Park. Consider it my version of Back to the Future visiting.
I really encourage you to do this if you have small(ish) children; my own kids would fall over laughing should I present them with this now!