Hi my name is Lea (pronounced: Lee-uh) and so far I’ve become a Jr. Ranger for three state parks: Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree. All of these places have badges but Joshua Tree gives you two more things, a paper hat and book entitled A Joshua Tree Named Lily.
We stopped at too many places for me to recall but I can tell you what I remember about some of them. Andrews, TX had a lot of bees, Johnson Park in Abilene, TX had a lake with a dock and a popular rest stop in Deming, NM has heated bathrooms that I love.
The thing I liked the most about Carlsbad Caverns was their video. It showed all the places that were being explored, how the formations are made, and cool views of the bats. They used close up cameras to make the bats go in slow motion to learn more about them and showed where you could go to see the bats leave the caves. I didn’t like that the campgrounds dirt was so hard that we couldn’t stake down the tents or how windy it was.
At the Grand Canyon, I enjoyed all of the different sights they had to offer. Different sites had different views of the Grand Canyon to showcase. I also liked how the Jr. Ranger workbook was laid out. There are different animal symbols for different age groups with great questions and fun activities. My favorite activity was one were you write or draw about your favorite place in the park. I didn’t like how crowded the observation area was because I could barely walk and most of my pictures had people walking in front of my phone.
Next up, Joshua Tree. I loved the campgrounds! There was a dried riverbed that had a tree in it. I climbed it about three times. While exploring the grounds, I found ninety-seven bottle-caps and fifteen beer cans. I don’t think I disliked anything.
Last but not least, The Salton Sea. I liked how pretty the water looked when the sun shone upon it. I also liked how many different birds there were. I even saw a bird that looked like a cartoon. The gift shop was amazing, a mix of store and museum. There were taxidermy animals, a chart that shows how much salt the Salton Sea has compared to other bodies of water and a video that tells you how Salton Sea was made and that it is claimed to be a natural and man made landmark.
I enjoyed all these places and, even though I know they’re are going to be more to come, I wish we could go back to them. But we have to keep moving forward and stay on our path to adventure.