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Wishing a very happy birthday to America's National Park Service...

Posted by Ann Kinner on 1/7/2016
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Grand Canyon, Ken Burns, National Parks, Nature, Tauck, Travel, USA, Washington DC, Yellowstone, Yosemite, history, Wyoming

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np_tauck_logoThe National Park Service turns 100 in 2016, shining a spotlight on those national treasures gifted to us by statesmen and visionaries like John Muir who said: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” We believe that, and so do the thousands of guests who have not only visited the parks with us since 1925, but also helped us “protect and preserve” them during their visits. We’ll be writing a series of stories about the parks over the next couple of months, exploring interesting and fun  aspects of the parks. Or unusual. Or just plain unique… as well as insights into how you can best experience the parks with Tauck.

np_1960_brochureSeeing the national parks doesn’t get old… the only thing constant is the indescribable awe on the faces of our guests, young and old alike. Arthur Tauck remembers being the first tour operator to fly guests from the east to the west in 1960 and setting off on bumpy dirt roads into the parks. “People tend to have an emotional experience when they see these places… of going places and doing things they never thought they would ever have the opportunity to do… they leave with a reborn spirit.”
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It’s the same today. We visit 60 parks and sites on 30 different Tauck trips. We could be watching the sun rise in places like the Grand Canyon, tinting sandstone walls one mile deep with hues of pink and orange, and Arches National Park, where rock stars millions of years old change colours before our eyes... We could be hiking, bicycling, river rafting, horseback riding or flightseeing over hoodoos, in canyons, along sandstone trails and sharing the excitement of seeing a herd of bison, a once-endangered wolf, a clockwork geyser or a giant 275-foot-tall sequoia... for the first or the 20th time.
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np_kenburns_daytonduncanSince 2010, we’ve joined forces with award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan to develop Ken Burns American Journeys, special travel experiences around the themes of their documentary films, to enrich our guests’ experiences in places like the national parks.

Their acclaimed film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, took them over 10 years to create – and in addition to co-creating several national park journeys, they’ve produced original film vignettes exclusively for our national park journeys. Ken and Dayton share their unique perspectives, behind-the-scenes insights and their extensive network of local experts to maximise guests’ travel experiences in the national parks in ways that add layers of meaning and appreciation. Their stories are mesmerizing – and inspiring.

Ken says it best – “We live in a digital age. Things are being lost and we have to redouble our efforts to remind people that it is possible to get out together and do things. I think we are yearning for community, for a sense of what connects us. And the national parks are one of the ways to do that.”
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np_gettysburgMonumental Sites are national treasures too.
The National Park Service hasn’t just protected our parks for the last 100 years. They’ve also overseen monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, even the White House… many of which make a starring appearance on our trips… like having dessert with a “Civil War civilian” who shares tales about Gettysburg National Military Park, our glowing Illuminations tour of the National Mall at night in Washington DC, our drive along the scenic coast of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a visit to the ancient Pueblo “neighborhood” that is Bandelier National Monument, with lunch in a 100-year-old adobe home…

As one of our guests wrote us this year:
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If you haven’t yet visited a national park or want to experience one or more again, make plans soonest to rediscover what “awesome” really means!
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Check out our new national park pages at tauck.com/parks for more information.
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