This is the fella that cost me my belt. We were visiting Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands National Park, where I used the outdoor changing stall that he was also occupying. I had changed into my suit and was photographing him, when another person knocked on the door, wanting to also change his clothes. In the resulting hubbub I forgot my belt that was hanging on a hook in the stall. That was the last time that we have visited a National Park. Last weekend, Anne rectified my mistake when she gifted me a new belt for Father’s Day.
Also in that Father’s Day haul was a t-shirt that lists all 61 National Parks, along with this t-shirt came a fabric marker that I used to color in the 28 parks that we have visited. Leaving 33 more parks yet to go. There are a few low hanging fruit left to pick, like Cuyahoga Valley and Indiana Dunes. About half of the yet to be seen National parks are in the Continental United States. Then in the next tier of increasing difficulty to visit are the Alaskan and Pacific island parks. I’m not saying that I am going to try and collect all 61. That smacks a bit too much like tilting at windmills. Still, there are some that I yet plan on visiting and running up my park score totals a bit more before all is said and done.
These days we content ourselves with visiting nearby Forest Park. This park is not a National Park, but it is the largest city park in the US. Yesterday, we rode our bicycles in it for the first time in way too long a time, where we bumped into friend and fellow Kaldi’s cyclist Mary. We snagged an invite from her for a socially distant happy hour this Saturday, in her and Bill’s backyard. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Today, we returned to the park, but drove instead of biked. We saw Mary again, riding her bicycle still.
In the Judy Garland movie, Meet Me in St. Louis, her character takes the trolley out-of-town to Skinker’s Swamp, future site of the 1904 Worlds Fair. After the fair, the city redesignated the land as Forest Park, but much of it was still a swamp. Today, we followed the winding water features that are all that remain of the original river that once flowed through the park. Bushes and brush lines many of these waterways, providing cover for wildlife. We didn’t see anything that was amazing, but there were plenty of the usual suspects sighted.