Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Preparation: Check out Recreation.gov

English: View from Zion National Park's Big Be...
English: View from Zion National Park's Big Bend. Exposure fused from three images. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We had 17 straight days of rain last month. On the last day of the series, we had the worst storm yet which dumped three inches of rain on ground that was already completely saturated. I was lucky to make it home before the worst of it began. The tornado sirens went off, but fortunately the cells fell apart before they reached us. Just to be safe, I decided to stay in the basement and explore the internet to pass the time during the severe weather. Luckily, I was able to find a gem.

A British news site had displayed photos that the United States Department of Interior had posted on its Instagram account. The stunning pictures were taken in the National Parks and other government-protected lands. While looking at the website for the Department of Interior, I noticed another site called Recreation.gov. This website provides a wealth of information for those who drive or travel across the United States. It helps with planning trips and making reservations on federal lands. Categories on Recreation.gov include: day hikes, beaches, car camping, mountain biking, Civil War sites and whitewater trips. I had no idea this website existed!!

Vacationers can type in the names of places they wish to visit and the site will let them know what government land and attractions are in that area. Let me give a couple of examples. As part of a video presentation, the destination given is Las Vegas. Other attractions in the area are listed. Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon National Park are given as vacation options that are fairly close to Las Vegas. For another destination I used Stuart, Florida. In addition to the beaches and lakes, the site listed nearby wildlife refuges and camping facilities. Travelers were informed of availability of electricity at those camping sites and the mooring options for boats. In a category such as Car Camping, safety tips, recipes, ideas for trips and options for booking camp sites are given.

This is an interesting government website which is free for citizens to use. Vacationers can easily pull up this information on their computers as they travel and have all the information they need to explore wherever options they choose. I really wish I had found out about this site earlier since I could have used the information on this blog! Travelers should check out Recreation.gov. which will offer a valuable tool for their vacation planning.

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