Greetings from Yosemite National Park

As parents, we always know the same answer to give to the Father’s Day question of, “What do you want for Father’s Day? Just as our parents answered us when we asked as kids… “Just make me a card, that’s all I need!”

Well, on a recent Father’s Day I got a gift from my daughter Kaitlin. As much as I would have liked a new Harley, or even an offer to mow the lawn, I got the gift I always request - a card. A post card to be precise. This one was hand delivered because Kaitlin knew she would beat it home from Hawaii. It was one of those cool postcards with the philosophical “Advice from a…” (Mountain) cards that she picked up on a recent visit to Volcanos NP. I loved it. In fact I had just bought a similar one in Haleakala NP when my wife and I visited her a few months earlier in Maui. Kaitlin knew I liked reading them when ever we went to a National Park. I was very happy with the card, Then I turned it over to read what she had written. That’s where I found the Father’s Day gift of a lifetime! She had written about how much fun she was having in Hawaii (on a Co-op with school, pursuing her doctoral degree.), and how I would love to be doing all the “fun things” she was doing. She went on to explain the solo trip she took to the big Island, to visit Volcanos National Park. As much fun as it was to go solo, she said that I “would be the best travel buddy to go with her.” If that were not good enough, she told how I (and her Mother) have “taught her so much about exploring the earth and to love and appreciate our planet!” And how she never would have done all the things she did “if she didn’t have a great teacher and father.” WOW! What a Father’s Day present!!!! And this was all written on a postcard!! (It was a big card, but she still had to squeeze it all in!)

It made me think for a while of all the places, especially National Parks, that we have been to together. Perhaps she learned all these things from cooking lobster in our campsite in Acadia NP, in Maine. Perhaps it was the excitement of the bears running through our campsite in the middle of the night, in Yosemite NP in California! Maybe it was being scared to death of the alligators in the Everglades. Or maybe it was the summer that the whole family spent living out of a minivan going to 19 National Parks, when she was 11. Or possibly it was me, reporting back to her when I was on my “solo” trips to Haleakala, Denali, Arches or Olympic National Parks. I always referred to those trips as scouting trips, hoping to some day in the future take my kids to those places. And thankfully I have done just that! I can’t even begin to count the number of National Parks, Monuments, and Memorials I have been to with my kids! So perhaps it was ALL of these visits that “taught her to explore and love the Earth.” That Father’s Day… I got the one true gift a Dad could want, and it was a hand delivered post card! It is now prominently displayed in a frame that allows you to read BOTH SIDES of the card! We all LOVE the National Parks!

Sincerely, Vinny Duffy Mt. Airy, MD


Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, towering ancient sequoia trees and spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

“I get to spend QUALITY time with my wife, kids and nature all at the same time!”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

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