By Olivia Cornwell
February 20, 2013
My relationship with our national parks began in the back of a 1970 Buick wagon filled with five siblings, two dogs, my Salmonella carrying (who knew?) painted turtles, Coleman camping gear, and a frazzled Mom and Dad. Add two canoes tied to the top for the complete picture of this Baby Boomer's family vacations. Living in crowded New Orleans being released into the wild for nearly two weeks was Heaven on Earth for this squishing mud through my toes equals a perfect day child. My wonderful park based adventures and memories shared are priceless. Our grown son continues this family tradition by hiking the Olympic National Forest with us frequently. Each trip there unveils another natural wonder like the photo of this gorgeous elk taking a break from foraging her breakfast. Am a new NPCA donor, yet a lifelong and respectful traveler through park lands that are America's gift to the world. Challenge each of you reading my tale to introduce a national park near you to a new friend. The best way to insure future funding to protect our natural heritage is to increase the number of people who gently use our national parks. So grab a friend and go take a hike!