Top reviews from other countries
Kaye Nutman - Hybrid Writer. Author of 'Headscarves, Headwraps & More'
5.0 out of 5 stars The adventures await
Reviewed in Australia on June 26, 2020
If you look inside this book, you'll see that the author is an inveterate visitor to State Parks. Here, you'll find the genuine notes taken and drawings made whilst he explored these amazing places with his family. In Kindle you may need to size the page up a little until the handwriting is perfect for reading, but don't let that put you off - it's easy to do. If you are likely to be in the neighbourhood of these wild open spaces, or want to select a bucket list of future adventures, then I can recommend this book as a worthy guide. Kudos to this young writer.
When an 8-year-old Eric Feichthaler saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in 2014, he didn’t know what a national park was.
After seeing the enormity of the canyon as well as the landscape and “tons of color,” Eric couldn’t get enough of the national parks.
And he also couldn’t stop writing about and sketching them.
Now 15, the Oasis High School sophomore-to-be has written an E-book called, "A Junior Ranger's Guide to the US National Parks: My observations from my visits to US National Parks during 2015 through 2018."
In a promo of his 60-page tome, Eric writes, “I hope you are as excited about visiting our country’s national parks and monuments as I am. Our country is amazing and has so much for us to enjoy. Whenever I am on a trip to a new national park, I like to write about and draw what I see. I have been visiting national parks since I was 8 and have been documenting my travels in a journal with photos and memories. I have had the good fortune to travel to all 50 states in which I have visited 34 national parks.
"This book includes my observations and illustrations of National Parks from my visits during 2015-2018. I have included my overall rankings of the National Parks based on their flora, fauna and natural characteristics like mountains. It is so important that kids and their parents can enjoy visiting these unique places. It is important that the parks receive funding and donations so they can remain open for future generations to enjoy. I hope you will enjoy reading about experiences and will have your own amazing experiences visiting these incredible treasures!"
The National Park System encompasses 417 National Park sites in the United States and they span across more than 84 million acres in each state and extend into the territories, including parks in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. A total of 62 have been being given the designation of National Park. There are three in Florida – Everglades National Park; Biscayne National Park; and the Dry Tortugas National Park.
“There are a lot of different sizes and activities in the parks,” Eric said. “Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, you can see most of it in a few hours. However, Death Valley in California is the best example where you can spend a month and not do everything.”
Eric has put together a list of his top five national parks. While he’s impressed with the history and scenery of the Florida national parks, they didn’t make his top five.
1. Yellowstone National Park: A nearly 3,500-square-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho, too. Yellowstone features canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It's also home to bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope. “Of all the parks I’ve been to, there’s more to see and do,” he said.
2. Denali National Park and Preserve: Larger than the state of New Jersey, Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska is a vast wilderness that is mostly untouched by human hands, save for the one park road and a few scattered services. It is known for legendary wildlife and big adventures, from back-country camping to mountaineering. “One of the biggest surprises was to see a mountain,” Eric said. “It was a really clear day, which is not a common thing. It’s one of the most beautiful places. I saw grizzly bears, moose, a couple of dall sheep. I went on a river rapids adventure and the hiking was really good.”
3. Yosemite National Park: Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s known for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, and for tunnel view, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. In Yosemite Village are shops, restaurants, lodging, the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery, with prints of the photographer’s renowned black-and-white landscapes of the area. “It’s considered the best by most people.” Eric said. “It’s massive. There are peaks, tons of waterfalls and one trail that really crowed. We went at sunrise and there was nobody there.”
4. Glacier National Park: It’s a 1,583-square-mile wilderness area in Montana's Rocky Mountains, with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. It's crossed by the mountainous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Among more than 700 miles of hiking trails, it has a route to photogenic Hidden Lake. Other activities include backpacking, cycling and camping. Diverse wildlife ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears. “We’re going to revisit it this summer,” Eric said. “It has really awesome mountain scenery, lakes, river, wildlife. I saw my first moose there. Most of the glaciers are gone. There used to be about 300 but there about 25 now. They’ll be gone really soon so people need to go.”
5. Zion National Park: This is a southwest Utah nature preserve distinguished by Zion Canyon’s steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through its main section, leading to forest trails along the Virgin River. The river flows to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a hanging garden. Also along the river, partly through deep chasms, is Zion Narrows wading hike. “When you start at the bottom, there’s an angel running trail,” he said. “The view at the top is absolutely worth it.”