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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

National Parks

Posted October 13, 2009 7:56 a.m. EDT

I am a nerd. I collect national park patches. Our family collection totals more than 20. We plan to buy more of them but we have some rules. You have to go there to get one. No patches by mail.

I thought about our patch collection while watching the recent Ken Burns documentary series on national parks. It's some of the best television I have seen in a long time. Not only did I learn more about the battle to establish America's glorious parks but drew inspiration from the courageous people who stood tall in their determination and vision. Without leaders like John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt and Stephen Mather America would be devoid of such pristine treasures as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains.

Have you visited our national parks? If so, which ones? What are your favorites? What are your stories? Please share.

The best story will win a prize!