On our way out of the Everglades to the Gulf Coast of Florida we drove through Big Cypress National Preserve. I know, I know, I'm running in National Parks, not National Preserves, but this was noteworthy and I will more than likely do more along these lines as opportunity presents itself. Big Cypress is home to Florida Panthers and alligators mostly. As we drove into the Visitor Center we noticed a group of people looking in the borrowing pond next to the road. As we appro
Well, the Everglades were not what I was expecting! Aren't the Everglades just a big scary swamp with alligators bellowing all around you? Well, the last part of that statement is true; but the first part is not. The everglades are a river, not a swamp. Granted, the river only moves 100' per day, but it is a river nonetheless. It actually looks like a prairie grassland, you would never know there was water just below the the grass. Not kidding, I thought I was looking at a
What do the 3rd largest barrier reef, John Wilkes Booth, and our National Parks Service have in common? Fort Jefferson! Fort Jefferson is located on Garden Key, out in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, why in the world, would the US build a fort 70 miles from anywhere? Turns out, Garden Key is perfectly suited to protect the southern portion of the United States and a vital shipping lane. Fort Jefferson is 70 miles from the US, 90 miles from Cuba, & 120 miles to Mexico. When you'r
Question: How do you run/hike in a National Park that covers nearly 173,000 acres and 95% are underwater? Answer: You don't...you kayak. It's good to have a plan, but sometimes you have to improvise. It's better than running the little road to the Visitor Center 33 times to achieve the 5k promised. So we rented a sea kayak and went out to explore Biscayne Bay. Biscayne Bay is edged with Mangrove forests, not just a border, a forest! I've never seen so many mangroves! Mangr
Conga-who?!? Most people have never heard of Congaree National Park. I had never heard of Congaree either until I started planning this journey. Congaree gets it's name from the river that starts in Columbia, SC not too far away. Congaree NP floods 10 time per year, not counting hurricanes. So at many times it can be hard to access except for the boardwalk (2.4 miles) they have built through the swamp. Oops! I'm not supposed to use the "s" word. It's a "floodplain". It's
It wasn't hard to see how the Great Smoky Mountains attained their name as I started driving into the fog filled mountains early, before dawn. The destination was Clingman's Dome, high on the top ridge of the Smokies. It is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. The views are spectacular! These mountains are sacred to the Cherokee people and should be to us also. They seem to emanate a secret, spirituality that can only be heard if one takes the time to listen.
Anna's teddy bear & I at our 1st stop of 50 this year. First Park stamp in my passport book What a great day to kick off the campaign! As most of you know, November 10th is National NET cancer awareness day. It was quite chilly but that didn't stop us from enjoying the top side of Mammoth Cave NP. No, I didn't tour the cave, as I am quite claustrophobic; but we did hike 4.5 miles. I'm sure the cave is beautiful but the woods were stunning! It might be the best kept secre
I was asked to be on Fox 31 News. It was a wonderful opportunity to tell the community how I am attempting to bring awareness and education about NET cancer by running/walking/hiking/kayaking all of the National Parks. Thank you to Fox 31 for letting me share my story and Greg Dutra for making me feel comfortable during the interview. Thanks Dr. Liu for stopping by the studio to give me a hug before going on air. Did you make to surgery in time?