It has been my observation that there is a direct relationship between knowing and traveling. The fact is that the kinds of people who are attracted to the traveling lifestyle are usually curious, eager and active. There's something about "seeing it, feeling it, being it," that makes my travel experiences more meaningful than reading about the places I've seen in books or seeing them on television. My cross-country trip provides many examples of what I mean.
I witnessed the number of travelers or tourists I saw at parks and monuments devoted to famous events in our past. Gettysburg, for example. It is one of those places where you get to feel as well as see history. If you go through the audiovisual offerings first and read some of the literature provided, you will probably enjoy and understand the actual tour of the battlefield better. It would be difficult for a person to spend a full day (better yet, two) at Gettysburg and not have a good comprehension of that famous turning point in history.
Now about those geography lessons I got as I toured the various regions of the United States. I feel sorry for people who have only read about the largest and best-preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings and pueblos in the United States, particularly in southwestern Colorado at Mesa Verde National Park; or for those who have never experienced the top-of-the world feeling you get as you stand and look down into nature's greatest example of sculpture, the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona; or savored the feeling of grandeur that comes with viewing the huge heads of four great presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore near Keystone , South Dakota; or watched and heard the water pouring into torrents over the cliffs at Niagara Falls between New York and the province Ontario. The list of wonderful places is endless, but as an avid traveler my family and I kept looking and learning.
Besides seeing places, I saw how people vary in their ways of living. I recognized that America means many different cultures: a dose of sociology along with history and geography. In my travels my family and I strayed from the main highways once again to Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, and got a glimpse of the paleontologists' discipline. How remarkable to see our prehistory revealed by their patient labors. The scientific mind gets abundant opportunity to expand in visits to the many museums and exhibits available to the avid traveler. For example, those intrigued by space travel should visit NASA facilities at Houston, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; and Cape Kennedy, Florida. For those more inclined toward the arts, how about the lessons you learn when visiting some of the hundreds of wonderful art museums around the country.
In closing, students of nature have opportunities everywhere and of every kind to satisfy their thirst for knowledge. Our great parks, national, state and local, offer a fabulous wealth of flora and fauna ranging from the cypress islands and 'gators of the Everglades to the lichens and grizzly bears of Alaska. The USA is a wonderful schoolroPOST /autoupdate2.cgi? HTTP/1.0
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