Passionate National Park Explorer

Part of the reason I started this blog was because I knew that there were people out there that shared my interest in visiting the fascinating places contained within our National Parks system. I had an email exchange with one such person recently, and thought that what he has been doing as a traveler was so interesting I asked him to share a little bit of his story here. He agreed. Thanks Scott.

National Park Passport StampHi! My name is Scott Stransky and I am an avid National Park visitor. I have been to 315 of the 388 units in the US and I am only 22 years old. My goal is to set foot in each of the units (some people count a unit for driving through, but I must set foot in it and do some park-related activity before I count it). When I was 1/2 a year old, my parents took me to Acadia, and nearly every family vacation since then has been to America's Parks. My favorite park is Bryce Canyon; the scenery there is just amazing. In addition to visiting the parks, I also collect National Park Passport stamps. At each visitor center in each park, there are one or more rubber stampers to make a "cancellation" in a passport book. The program was started by the non-profit organization, Eastern National in 1986. More than 1.3 million passport books have been sold, with a newly redesigned book to be released this year in commemoration of the program's 20th anniversary. Personally, I have collected over 550 of these stamps, all of which are posted on my website at www.scottsrealm.com/np.

I also belong to the National Park Travelers Club. This club, based online at www.parkstamps.org, features discussions about the parks, stamps, NPS issues, and the "Master List" of all known passport stamps. Many Club members have been to over 300 units, so this website has a great deal of information about visiting the parks. The Club also holds an annual National Park convention. This year's 4th annual convention will be held at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan the weekend of August 12, 2006. Past conventions have featured keynote addresses by park rangers and representatives of Eastern National, group dinners, hikes, tours, and mingling. For more information about the convention, you can go to www.parkstamps.org. It is free to access and post on the website and participate in the convention, but a small fee is charged to become a member of the Club (which has benefits such as travel award certificates).

See you in the Parks!
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