My parents retired in South Carolina, in Beauford to be exact. That's a town on the coast right by Hilton Head Island, if you're not familiar. Anyway, my mom convinced us...
... to take a little visit to Congaree National Park, which is about an hour away from where they live. I didn't really get why it was a national park until we went there. It's really quite incredible. Congaree is the largest preserve of old growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States.
Put another way: it's full of very old and tall trees growing out of floodplain water. These massive trees form one of the last remaining deciduous canopies in the entire world. It's also an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark.
We walked the Boardwalk Loop through the park, which is about 3 miles. I could feel the natural history there, walking through the still, swampy waters among enormous trees.
Some of them are more than 100 feet tall. The feeling was peaceful but cut with the heavy stillness of a swamp. So neat.
The Boardwalk Loop
Kayaking in Congaree
“Wear waterproof shoes because even the trails get swampy.”
I'll never forget visiting Big Bear Mountain during the Summer of 2015, when my daughters J.J., Katy & I went downhill mountain biking. J.J. is a semi-pro, but Katy and I were newbies who got lost 7-miles off base.
If you're able to see the red glowing rocks of Bryce Canyon at sunrise or sunset, you're in for the treat of your life. Those spiky rocks are called hoodoos and they look amazing when the sun shines on them. And check out a show at Bryce Amphitheater too.
Did you know there are massive sand dunes nestled in front of the majestic Rocky Mountains? You can climb and play on them for days. The sand is sugary soft and there's a creek that runs through the base of them. Happy sliding!