Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I guess I didn't tell as many people as I thought that I was going on vacation. I received a call from a friend, concerned that she had not seen me online for quite some time...and another friend asked me what I was doing in Salt Lake City, in reference to my last post.

Well...for anyone else who has been wondering what may have happened to me...I was out of town...I left on June 29th and came back yesterday...6 hours later than I had anticipated. I flew in and out of the Salt Lake City airport and drove in a somewhat haphazard loop around Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and the eastern fringe of Washington. And for those of you keeping count...that means I am now up to 48 states. Just Louisiana and Alabama left!

Since I'm on this no particular order, here's a few highlights of the trip. Enjoy!
  • The temperatures in the areas I visited were higher than normal. There was hay frying in the sun and at one point we even had to detour around a fire, since 10 miles of an interstate highway was closed.

  • The aforementioned ding to my rental car.

  • Wyoming, Idaho and Montana are called Rocky Mountain states for very good reason...I drove over and around more mountain ranges in a short period of time than I was used to.

  • South Dakota rocks...the black hills were beautiful, I couldn't get enough of Mount Rushmore, and it reminded me of one of my favorite movies...Calamity Jane.

  • Yellowstone was much bigger than I expected, but it's amazing that there are so many different types of landscapes and natural phenomenons concentrated in one slice of the country. No wonder Teddy Roosevelt Ulysses S. Grant named it the first national park.


Jim Macdonald said...

I'm going to have to write a blog about this as often as I see this mistake on the Web and people's blogs. Even a former employee of the Department of Interior recently made this mistake.

Anyhow, the mistake is that Teddy Roosevelt did not found the national parks or Yellowstone, which was founded in 1872 when Grant was President, almost 30 years before Teddy became President.

I'm trying to track down the source of this common myth, but so far haven't found good info. Do you or anyone remember where you first came to the impression that Teddy founded Yellowstone? Just curious.

All my best,
a little park history

scmusicals said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the clarification. I covered 7 states in 11 days, and I wrote this blog entry pretty my mistake. Of course...Grant made Yellowstone the first National well as made Devils Tower the first National monument. I even stayed in the Grants Village lodge the first night in Yellowstone and read up on shame on me for making the mistake.

I think the problem was that I also had Roosevelt in my head. He's on Mount Rushmore...he has his own National Park in North Dakota. He did a lot for the National Parks as well. But, mea culpa...Grant deserves the Yellowstone credit.