I'm Gonna Fly

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Over the last few months we have had to chance to visit 4 new parks (YAY!) and I have been itching to post about them here on the blog. This morning I finally got around to organizing my thoughts and all the photos from the parks to share with you. 

Back in May we took a trip down to South Carolina and took the opportunity to see what the Park Service had to offer us! We were able to visit 3 of the 6 parks located in this state.

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First up was a visit to Charles Pinckey National Historic Site in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Charles Pinckey was heavily involved in the development of the Constitution and was a signer of this important historical document.

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This National Park is housed on a small portion of Snee Farm that is left from when Charles Pinckney family lived in this area of South Carolina. There is small museum and introductory video at the visitor center but the highlight of the park is the beautiful grounds. 

It poured rain for most of our short time at the site but we still managed to take a quick walk outside and enjoy the plantation.

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The story behind this man and his property did not resonate with me as much as I wanted it to but it was still an enjoyable adventure for a rainy afternoon.

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Winter Weather Parks

Here in the Northeast many of the National Park Service locations close down for the Winter season starting on Nov 1. I didn’t realize this was the case until I recently started to follow some of my favorite parks on Facebook (p.s. I love that the parks are moving in the direction of social media). Both the Saugus Iron Works and Saint-Gaudens parks are now closed for the season which is a shame because I bet their properties would be absolutely gorgeous under a coating of snow.

I started researching some other parks that I could take my family to visit over the next few months. The larger parks seem to be staffed year round and there are a few that just work on limited hours. Here are 3 that are within driving distance from us and would make perfect day trips during the Winter.

  1. Salem Maritime National Historic Site - Located in Salem, MA. Open regular hours except for the tours of the ship, Friendship of Salem.
  2. Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site - Located in Brookline, MA. Open Friday & Saturday only for Winter Season
  3. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park - Located in New Bedford, MA. Open regular hours but there are more limited hours for the museums associated with the park.

As usual, I will post recaps of our visits to these parks right here on the blog - stay tuned!

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Washita Battlefield National Historic Site it located a couple hours west of Oklahoma City so we got up early one morning and took the drive to visit the second of the two parks here in the state.

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This park’s main draw is really the park film they show in the visitor center that tells the story of the Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle. This half hour video really depicts a dark time in American History - something they didn’t really teach us back in junior high.

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This park is located on a battlefield where back in 1868, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer led a surprise attack on a peaceful Indian Tribe killing Chief Black Kettle and a majority of his tribe. This was a huge turning point in history which led to the Native American tribes to be forced on to reservations here in Oklahoma.

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While the scenery here is stunning and the park very well put together, it is a very solemn place once you know the history.

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I do wish we had come a bit more prepared the day we went, as the weather was cooler then it has been out here. I would have liked to hiked the trail head but we didn’t bring the right shoes, extra water, etc. I am used to a lot of the parks back in the northeast where there aren’t a lot of walkable/hikable areas so I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked.

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I bought Logan his own National Park Passport and started to fill it up with stamps from our visits to Washita and Chickasaw. I can not wait to continue this tradition with him as he grows!

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