Amman, Jordan

Hand of Hercules

The most gigantic, swoony, intimidating trio of fingers in all of antiquity
05 Oct 2015
Isabela, Puerto Rico

Tunel de Guajataca

This former sugarcane transport tunnel is now a portal to a lovely beach
05 Oct 2015
Province of Lucca, Italy

Lago di Vagli

This Tuscan lake hides a 13th century town that is still visible when the water recedes
05 Oct 2015
San Rafael, Argentina

Borges Memorial Maze

This Argentinian hedge maze is an intricate tribute to a famous surrealist author
05 Oct 2015
New York, United States

The Ramble Cave

Hidden in Central Park's Ramble is a troublesome cave buried just beneath the surface
02 Oct 2015
Morristown, Tennessee

The Evil Dead Cabin

All that's left of the quintessential "cabin in the woods"
02 Oct 2015
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National Park Superfans Who Visit All 408 Locations—At Least Once

by Andy Wright / 05 Oct 2015

article-imageHaleakala National Park, Hawaii, visited by Shelly and Don Hafner, who visited 59 National Parks in 59 weeks. (Photo: Don and Shelly Hafner)

Roland Spies was in the midst of a fabulous vacation when he made a decision that, later, he admitted, was perhaps born of  “a little bit of insanity”.

He and his son, Jack, were visiting Glacier National Park in Montana in the summer of 2012. The park is over one million acres of wilderness that includes 175 mountains, over 700 lakes, grizzly bears, shaggy mountain goats and historic lodges. Spies and his son had gone river rafting, hiked parts of the over 700 miles of trails, and trekked up to the park’s high passes. At some point during this string of perfect moments, Jack remarked that they should visit more national parks. Caught up in the moment, Spies’ agreed and upped the ante. Why not visit all the national parks?

“After our trip was over, I get on the internet and the first thing I find out is that there are 59 national parks,” says Spies, who lives in Illinois and works in the legal department of State Farm, an insurance company. “I joke with him—I’m already in my mid-50s—I said, ‘Buddy, we’re gonna have to do this with some diligence. If we don’t hit two or three a year, I don’t think we’re going to make this.”

 It would have been easy to sheepishly push aside a vacation-euphoria induced decision, like so many people do. But Spies and his son committed to the challenge, and he threw himself into research. That’s how he stumbled across the National Park Travelers Club and found out he was definitely not the first person to undertake this mission.

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