Now that we can mostly travel during the school holidays, we are all waiting for that famous spring break. Again we have had many different options that we have been looking into. We tried to find flights to both Hawaii and Mexico, some cruises and different routes for a road trip. And the winner is... TA-DAA.. the road trip! Mostly because all the flights during spring break are very expensive and the dates for the cruises weren't convenient for us.
Some of you might remember that I am enthusiastic about visiting national parks. I even joined the National Parks Travelers Club, which gives an access to all the information they have about national parks. The members collect stamps from the parks, and in that way mark off the park they visited from their list. Each park can have multiple stamps if they have different sections. I am fine just getting one stamp from each park, but I might get others as mementos if I happen to see them. I started out with the small stamp book that they sell in the parks, but later upgraded to a bigger Collector's Edition. There are a total of 417 national park units which include parks, monuments, preserves etc. and I have now visited 35 national park units. That means I still have some work to do.
On this road trip we plan to visit a few national parks.
FROM MANZANAR TO DEATH VALLEY
Our main destination is Death Valley National Park. It is known to be the hottest and lowest spot of North America since it is 86 metres lower than sea level. The best time to visit Death Valley is in the spring, because during the summer, it gets way too hot there. The hottest ever measured temperature on earth was in Death Valley in 1813, and it was 56,7C. Wow! The spring weather should be a little bit cooler and if we are lucky, we might even see some desert flowers. Last year Death Valley got some rare rains which fed the Superbloom in Death Valley. I hope that will be the case this year also.
Before going to Death Valley we will stop at Manzanar in California. Manzanar is an internment camp from World War II where Japanese people were transferred. Just like Death Valley, Manzanar is also part of the national parks program.
NATIONAL PARKS CLOSE TO LAS VEGAS AND HOOVER DAM
After we conquer Death Valley, we might continue to Las Vegas, which is only two hours drive away. We have been in Las Vegas before, so we would mainly be interested in seeing other things this time than the Strip. There are two national parks very close. One is Tule Springs National Monument which is an archeological site with some findings from the Ice Age.
One place that we have never seen is Hoover Dam. It dams the Colorado River at the border of Nevada and Arizona, and is the biggest dam in the USA. It provides electricity to Southern California. Very close to the Hoover Dam is Lake Mead which is also a national park unit. Since we would already be close by, we might also stop there. It would also be great to visit Red Rock Canyon.
Well, that was a lot to see and do already. Since we are driving around with a baby and another child, our plans are subject to change at any time. Hopefully we can at least see Manzanar and Death Valley.
Last year I had one of these California note books as a giveaway, and since I like them a lot, I do have another one now. It can help you when you plan road trips or your other travels. Leave a comment and tell me what is your best memory from a road trip, or where you would still like to go. Don't forget to either leave your email address in the comments or sign in with your email address (where only I can see them), so I can contact the winner. The winner will be drawn on April 15th. Good luck!