Greetings from Natural Bridges National Monument

I am not sure that this is the kind of story you are after but here goes. This is about a joke taken to the extreme. As my family traveled around from late 1980s until the early 2000s, they ask me what they might send me as a small gift. I am 73 and I didn’t then or do I now need postcards, etc. So I told them that if they saw a particular type of tourist souvenir plate, to send me one of those. These ceramic plates have raised relief images of National Park and Monument sites. Each has the name and place of the image on the front. If you saw one, you might call them kitsch because of the pink and blue sky and clouds. We called them tacky plates. These are not printed plates but relief image plates. Suffice it to say I now have 40 of these plates. I have tried on several occasions to donate the collection to the National Park Service to no avail. I think the problem is that each park has its own collection of memorabilia. I imagine many a kitchen had a couple of these plates on the wall, but today they are are very hard to find. I want to preserve this bit of history. I have a photographic inventory if you are interested in seeing them. It would be a shame to just dispose this tangible history from a far simpler time.


Natural Bridges National Monument

This Utah gem is far enough off of the beaten path that few of the visitors that head to Arches or Canyonlands make the two-hour trip south from the Moab area to see it, yet it’s one of the best stargazing spots in the country and the only place where you can find three natural bridges in such close proximity. Hike right up to these stunning rock formations—among the largest natural bridges in the world—then pitch a tent at a campsite on the edge of the park’s canyon for a starry, magical desert experience.

State(s): Utah

Established: 1908

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