Riding Motorcycles And Visiting National Parks

OFMC at Zion 2012

The OFMC at Zion earlier this year.

I took a contract job recently at the National Park Service–my first regular job in 3-1/2 years–and my friend Dan very quickly emailed me to say he would be calling on my newly gained expertise. Seems he is working on earning the Iron Butt Association’s National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award. To do so you have to “Visit at least 50 National Parks, National Monuments, National Historic Sites, National Recreation Areas or any other site or park listed in the Passport book or other sources, such as those listed by the National Parks Travelers Club http://www.parkstamps.org in at least 25 states within 1 year.”

What many people may not realize, but what I’ve learned in my brief time on this job, is that there are nearly 400 park units around the country. Everybody knows about Yellowstone or Yosemite but how many of us have heard of some of these places I’ve been working on this past few weeks: William Howard Taft National Historic Site; Ocmulgee National Monument; Catoctin Mountain National Park; Cumberland Island National Seashore. There are a lot of them.

As the Iron Butt site explains, too, you don’t have to go to 2 per state in 25 states. They suggest you could visit 21 parks in California, 6 parks in Arizona, and then 23 parks in 23 different states. Whatever it takes.

As for that Passport book mentioned above, that’s something the National Park Service (I’m already inculcated. I would have abbreviated that but the organizational style is always to spell it out unless it’s used as a modifier.) offers. I’m sure it’s a way to generate money but it sounds cool and kind of fun. You buy the book and then at each park unit you visit you get it stamped. Each unit has its own distinctive stamp. Just something as a momento of your visit.

So anyway, you’ve got some hard riding to do Dan, but I know you’re an Iron Butt guy and you’ll have a great time. And I’ll let you know if I come across any especially interesting park units to give you a heads-up on.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Butler Maps goes east to the Ozarks

Biker Quote for Today

Life is a Game. Play to win.


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