I am an organizing maniac, mother of 3, lover of my slow cooker, wife to a quiet man, and a regretful pet owner.  When I am not chauffeuring, cooking, or making pathetic attempts to clean, I really enjoy reading.  Especially about National Parks, or trashy novels with vampires.  Or werewolves. Or British travel novels from the 1930’s.  But NEVER Dickens.  My three children are Ranger (8), Lemon (6) and Wild Thing (2) (see what happens when they pick their own names?  Trust me their actual names are much more sensible) and we often venture off alone on day trips, but prefer to bring our trusty second adult with us, my partner Mike.

I became interested in National Parks when we made the poor decision to drive across country from Pittsburgh, PA to Roswell, NM when our children were 7, 4.5 and almost 1.  Since I had worked really hard to convince my husband it was a GREAT idea, I attempted to meticulously plan a road trip including multiple stops for BBQ.  The key, I thought, would be finding a place to run around, like a zoo or a park about 4 hours into our driving day.  In looking for parks I found Mammoth Caves National Park in KY.  From there I realized that there was a MEMBERSHIP TO ALL THE PARKS.  Flat rate, annual admission to 417 attractions ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY?  YES!  Brilliance dawned, with a bargain in tow, it was too good to be true, and then I found the Junior Ranger program. Do you know what my kids love? Things that are gold, worksheets and facts. Turns out EVERY PARK HAS A JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAM and so a new life purpose was born and a collection begun. Please enjoy our quest to answer a lot of questions to earn all shiny badges and patches!