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NPS Centennial: Honeymoon Adventure in the Western National Parks

 
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For our honeymoon, my wife, Michelle, and I went on a journey westward.  We started in Colorado and looped our way through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah visiting friends, family, and National Parks along the way. It was truly an adventure, and a magnificent start to the real adventure that is the rest of our lives.

Western-NPS-Tour-Carter-3.jpgAfter spending a few days in Denver, we escaped city life in the Rockies.  Rocky Mountain National Park is truly a jewel.  Wildlife and fauna thrive in the shadow of the largest rocks we had ever seen.  Our favorite hike is one of the more famous in the park, but it more than surpassed our expectations.  We climbed through the clouds passing picturesque alpine lakes, breath-taking vistas, and abundant wildlife before the hike culminated at Emerald Lake surrounded by pure beauty.  The fog rolled in as we hiked down, hiding everything, and making us feel much better about our choice to wake up at 6 a.m. instead of sleeping in like masses who naively stumbled uphill having no idea what they missed out on.

Western-NPS-Tour-Carter-2.jpgNext, we drove up to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Together, these parks seemed to be as large as the entire Southeast, although I know they are not.  There was more to do than could be done in years, much less the handful of days we got to spend there.  Our favorite activity was a wildlife tour on one of the park’s “Old Yellow Buses,” which was truly a treat.  We saw wolves, bears, buffalo, elk, and some of the most beautiful landscapes North America has to offer.

Our last stop was in Moab, whose stark red and orange hues contrasted so intensely with our first couple of legs that it blew both of our minds.  Arches and Canyonlands were both in spitting range of downtown Moab, and we stayed at a Yurt at Dead Horse Point with an ethereal view of the Milky Way.   

Arches was a supercharged day at the park.  It was hugely accessible by vehicle and we had about 20 amazing mini-adventures before a terrifyingly intense storm threatened to wash us away if it didn’t electrify us first!  Watching that storm roll through was the perfect end to a perfect National Park adventure.  

We hope to recreate our honeymoon trip 50 years from now, and are grateful that because of the National Parks Service we may have the opportunity to!

- Carter, Mast Store Columbia

For more of our Mast Family National Park Service adventures and recommendations, click HERE