My Life in the National Parks
The greatest american road trip
In 2016, Jonathan Irish, a professional photographer, and I left our lives in Washington, D.C. and hit the open road on an expedition to explore and document all 59 of America’s national parks during the centennial celebration of the U.S. National Park Service — 59 parks in 52 weeks — it was the Greatest American Road Trip. We traversed North America in a 4X4 SUV, with an Airstream trailer in tow, traveling more than 40,000 miles, and camping in the backcountry whenever possible. With parks located in the Caribbean, northern Alaska, American Samoa in the Pacific and everywhere in between, it was an ambitious, yet attainable goal that was realized when we crossed the finish line on December 31, 2016.
While the surface of our road trip was a pursuit of wild adventure, our ultimate goal was to raise awareness of and support for America’s public lands — which many believe to hold some of the finest treasures found anywhere on our planet. We strived to document in photographs, stories, and video footage each of the parks with equal treatment — giving as much attention to the lesser known and least visited parks in the system as to those that are the most famous — all of which we shared on our website and across a variety of social media platforms, and which were reported on by the national and international news media.
What we found along the way and in the end was a greater understanding of the country that we call home. Nothing about our expedition was easy, and every bit of it was thrilling to us as individuals: a pursuit of big adventure, a logistics puzzle of grand proportions, and, a deeply personal quest that unfolded every day during our one year on the road in America.
How lucky i have been...
Photography credit: Jonathan Irish, to whom I am forever grateful for capturing these cherished moments in my life.