Acadia: Climbing, Camping, and Cold Salty Seashores

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The long-anticipated second installment is here! Hopefully this can tide you over, readers, if the government shuts down and delays the rest of our trip.

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An Afternoon in Boston!

I’m going to be honest with you, readers- it’s been a while since my last US History class. Probably about six years. Still, I had absorbed enough in grade school and high school to know that Boston was the site of many important events in our country’s history. Since we were staying with relatives nearby, we decided to take an afternoon trip into the city to see the sights. After a little traffic (there was a Red Sox game as well as some kind of carnival/festival going on), we found the small brick line that winds through Boston and guides tourists on the “Freedom Trail.” The whole trail covers 17 different sites, buildings, and monuments, but since we started in the middle we only caught 7 of them before calling it quits for excellent Italian food in the North End.

Read on for pictures of the Boston Adventure!

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The Park with the Looming Overpasses: Reflections on Cuyahoga Valley

Cuyahoga is small – small and young, as National Parks go, since it was only established as a Park in 2000. Of course, knowing that it is not your typical vision of a national park and experiencing it for yourself are two different things. I knew Cuyahoga was small – I’d looked into it beforehand and discovered that it didn’t even support a developed campground, let alone more than one to choose from, as many other parks do. I expected it to be mostly trails and a few old buildings, and for us to have some decent hikes. Because I hadn’t researched it too thoroughly, though – being distracted by tidbits of information on the more well-known parks, as well as the goings-on of my host family and kids in France – I didn’t expect it to be quite the juxtaposition of worlds that it is.

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Cuyahoga Valley: One Park Down, 46 to go!

We kicked off the trip with a visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio!

Tune in tomorrow for blog posts about the visit and next week for thoughts and video from Acadia.

We’ll see you (at least virtually) on the road!
Louisa & DA
Your Freelance Adventure Team

Before We Go: Q&A

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We had answered some questions from our friends and family on our previous post, but we also wanted to test our new video camera and introduce our audience to our faces! So, here’s an expanded Q&A with new Qs and As. If you have any more, you can comment below (or on the video on YouTube, or e-mail us… there are options) and we’ll get back to you!
See you on the road!
Louisa & DA

FAQ: Before We Leave

Since we’ve been introducing this idea to family and friends, we have gotten a lot of questions. Some of these are more common than others, so we’ve put together our most common pre-trip questions to answer here! If you have a question that’s not answered, please post it here or e-mail it to us at theGAPtrip@gmail.com and we’ll answer it in an upcoming post/video

 

Q: Where are you going?
A: We’re going to the 47 national parks in the continental US.

 

Q: How are you getting there?
A: We’re driving! The tradition of the Great American Road Trip has always appealed to us and we’ve heard one of the best ways to discover the country is on the road. Both of us have been on shorter road trips (generally with one destination rather than a chain of them), so we’re excited to be taking a (much) longer one!

 

Q: What exactly prompted the trip? Was there a specific reason for it, or was it something you always wanted to do?
A: For an initial explanation of this, we can refer you over to our about the trip page, which basically boils down to both! We’ve always been attracted to travel in general: it exposes you to other cultures and subcultures, makes you practice being resourceful and adaptable, and teaches you all sorts of things about the world and yourself! So in that way it’s always been something we wanted to do, but specifically traveling on the road around our own country was a more recent idea. We both realized separately that we’d not done extensive traveling in the states, despite having grown up traveling with our families and friends to many foreign destinations, and what better way to learn about ‘typical small-town USA’ and the nature and geography of the country than on the open road?


Q: Will you be going to Assateague National Seashore? What about Fort Pulaski National Monument?
A: Nope*, because those aren’t US National Parks! There are a lot of National Things that are overseen by the National Parks Service, with different levels of classification and different possible uses (for example, National Forests are used more as a national resource and can be harvested whereas National Parks cannot). We chose to only go to the National Parks (and only the ones we think it will be feasible to get to). There are a total of 59 but some are in Alaska, Hawai’i, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, which we will…not be getting to in a car. See the full list of parks here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks_of_the_United_States


Q: When will you be at the Grand Canyon (or any other specific park)? Can we meet up?
A: If you know one or both of us personally, go ahead and ask us that question again, in a non-public venue. E-mail us or call us or Facebook us or come do semaphore on our lawns. But if you don’t know us in real life, we’re not going to tell you our exact itinerary for safety reasons. Along those lines, blog posts and video blogs will be posted a few days or weeks after we visit each park: it will take us time to write and edit them, and we don’t feel the need for the whole Internet to know our exact location at every moment.


Q: You’re doing videos? How will that work?
A: Will it? we just don’t know (nah, it will, more or less). We’ve purchased an action cam to help us out with getting footage while we’re actually doing things, and are working on learning how to use it! Each episode of our little web series will feature a little bit about the park’s history or cultural importance, as well as footage of us exploring the park itself and whatever shenanigans we get up to. (We’re hoping that our editing skills improve as we go on, and apologize if the first ones at least are a little rough)


Q: How on Earth are you paying for all this?
A: Good question. We’ve saved our pennies (literally, at least in DA’s case, as she put her share of the tip jar from her job into a piggy bank for several months). We also have been pretty frugal and plan on continuing that — we’re staying with friends or relatives instead of getting hotels or motels as much as we can along the way and we already have most of the equipment we need, so gas money is the biggest concern. At some point, we might put up a donation button if anyone feels like contributing, but we definitely won’t be charging for any content.


Q: How can I help?
A: Get the word out! Tell your friends, your family, your favorite barista, and your fellow dog-walkers in the morning about the project! You might think the automatic answer here would be ‘donate money to us so the car can keep moving,’ but actually, at this point more viewers would be the best thing! So far our audience is pretty small (which is not surprising since we’re still working on getting the main content of the site up and running). If you think what we’re doing is interesting, it would be awesome if you’d let people know, however you’re comfortable!

Once again if you have a question that’s not answered here, drop us a comment or e-mail us at theGAPtrip@gmail.com! We’ll be posting a Q&A video soon so if you’d like your question to be included please send it ASAP!

 

Until next time,


Louisa & DA 
Your Freelance Adventure Team

*at least it won’t be part of the series