Drop the coffee and run!

I’ve been almost everywhere in California and I will continue to keep traveling until I’ve hit it all. Other people need to get out more and see what’s outside their drive to and from work. There are five times as many Starbucks in Santa Monica as there are national parks in the entire United States. Of the 58 national parks in the U.S., eight are in California, and I have been to all of them. There are ONLY EIGHT, people, so get your lazy asses out of Starbucks and conquer the great outdoors of California.

  1. Death Valley National Park – I was here with my family when I was eight and then again (without my family) when I was 18. It was about 110 degrees both times.
  2. Joshua Tree National Park – The Joshua Tree is a type of yucca and the namesake of one of a U2 album. It is a 1980s rock and roll symbol that has brought the Joshua Tree Park attention and a cult following. (Obviously I’ve been here.)
  3. Lassen Volcanic National Park – A truly amazing place, unusually empty (the time I was there at least). Bumpass Hell is a geothermal area with lakes and hot springs – it was named for an explorer who lost a leg in one of the boiling pools, so be careful.
  4. Redwood National and State Parks – This is a fieldtrip for school kids, so if you haven’t been yet, just stop reading now and go.
  5. Sequoia National Park – Park of the Sierra Nevada range and definitely worth visiting. Crystal Cave is particularly interesting as well as Kern Canyon.
  6. Yosemite National Park – A must for anyone who calls themselves Californians, or Americans at that.
  7. Kings Canyon National Park – Do this with Sequoia National Park—go for a week or a long weekend, campout, and enjoy the giant trees and mountains that surround you.
  8. Channel Islands National Park – I went here as a little kid and saw a whale. That’s all I remember. I’ll have to revisit this one soon.

Do these things and then call yourself a Californian.

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