Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

My Little Problem

Posted July 30, 2007

I have an addiction that only a patch will cure.

My craving: national parks.

Before I explain let me throw out the question: what is your favorite national park? If you have traveled a lot what is your top five?

Call me a geeky tree hugger but I collect those oval patches you can purchase in national park gift shops. I've been doing it for years and I've got quite a collection. I don't have the complete set but I'm working on it. I don't cheat. The rules are simple. I can't just order a patch through the mail. I've got to visit the park and buy the patch there.

I have some huge holes in my collection. I've never been to Yellowstore or Grand Tetons but my wife has and we do the patch thing together.  I have done Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes in Hawaii and Olympic in Washington State twice along with Acadia in Maine.

If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be Yosemite for its sheer raw natural beauty. A very close second would be Glacier in Montana followed by Olympic, Great Smoky Mountains and Haleakala especially at sunrise.

My next goal is the write a musical album for every national park. I'm ready to get started.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Reader Jul 31, 2007

    I really enjoyed Lassen Volcanic Park in northern California. It's in the Cascades south of Mount Shasta, but has the complete array of sulfur pits, mud pots, crater lakes, etc., along with a recently-erupted volcano. It's very under-utilized and campsites were available for walk-ins, even in July. It was amazing!

  • blackdog Jul 30, 2007

    That's not a problem....just reduce your choice list, to which continent....or which park natural aspect taught you the most...or just, which one had the fewest mosquitos.

  • bleslie Jul 30, 2007

    NP patch - brilliant! I love it!

  • thefensk Jul 30, 2007

    oh, and I forgot to share this for those of you who don't have the time to go there:

    Check the prediction, but this time of year if the crowd is growing, you know it is close to erupting.

  • thefensk Jul 30, 2007

    So, for Bill, the NP patch is the reverse of a nicotine patch ... in his case the NP patches serve to KEEP him addicted.

  • Cleanup on Aisle Cool Jul 30, 2007

    Any park with a patch is probably worth a visit.

    My wife and I have patches for Columbia River Gorge (Oregon) and Redwoods National Park (Cali). Both very worthwile.

  • jetset Jul 30, 2007

    I don't get out of the state too much, but several years back we went to Acadia in Maine. It was beautiful. I especially liked the restaurant that served the popovers, jam & tea while overlooking the beautiful lake. I would really love to go out west to see those parks!! Maybe one day.......

  • bugsp1981 Jul 30, 2007

    I would go with Denali, it is mavelous and if you are looky you will get to see the entire mountain. The sights are wonderful, the wildlife unbelievable. It is hard to get used to the 24 hours of sun during the summer. It is interesting to see a tree that is only 10 feet high and 100 years old due to the extreme cold and lack of light during the winter.

  • owlady Jul 30, 2007

    Check out this website:

  • bleslie Jul 30, 2007

    You are correct. However, some consider the Blue Ridge Parkway as a national park and it has more visitors than GSMNP.




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie