The Great Outdoors: A National Parks Playlist

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Creation Date April 28th, 2020
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  1. Put out to pasture, thinking his political career over, Theodore Roosevelt was atop a mountain when he heard the news: an assassin’s bullet would likely take President McKinley’s life, and make Roosevelt president.Upon his inauguration shortly after, Teddy brought his lifelong love of the natural world into the White House with him. He found his executive pen a powerful tool, setting aside vast swaths of land as preserves and monuments. And later, as he sought his first term as an elected president, he embarked on the most comprehensive tour of America’s natural wonders any president had ever made: he was struck speechless at the Grand Canyon, met naturalist John Burroughs in Yellowstone, and took “the most important camping trip in history” with John Muir in Yosemite.Support this show by supporting our sponsors!
  2. Last year Brad and Matt Kirouac gave up their very comfortable and secure lives in a beautiful loft in a gorgeous neighborhood in Chicago to live as nomads in an RV with the goal of visiting all of 61 the country’s national parks. Their new lifestyle challenges every single part of their relationships and they’ve been forced to dig deep to see if they really want to be in this together. Learn more about your ad-choices at
  3. We compare national parks to movies a lot on this podcast, and that’s mostly because these places have a larger-than-life vibe and atmosphere that truly looks like something out of a film. But no park is as much of a cinematic star as the one we’re talking about today, which is Redwood National Park in California. These soaring forests have totally soared to movie stardom over the years, appearing as the backdrop for some pretty serious blockbusters. And it makes sense; these trees are truly other-worldly, what with its sky-scraping trees, misty beaches, and fern canyons, so we get why the redwood forests are like catnip for movie directors. That’s also what made this park such a fun place to visit, and even better to experience as part of a family vacation. Redwood National and State Parks may not have dinosaurs and Ewoks, like the movies would have you believe, but it’s still an out-of-this-world place to visit.Follow Parklandia on Instagram at @parklandiapod, join the Parklandia Rangers Facebook Group and Like our Facebook page! Learn more about your ad-choices at
  4. Jonah Ogles, articles editor at Outside Magazine, talks about the run on applications for senior lifetime passes and the debate over capping admissions to certain national parks plus listeners share their national park stories.  
  5. Carla Marie talks to a different person following a passion outside of their day job. Some of these side hustlers have turned their passion into a full time job! This week Carla Marie talks to Daniel, the creator of National Park Geek! National Park Geek creates apparel centered around America's greatest treasure...our National Parks! He was a teacher who started National Park Geek because he had a love for our National Parks! https://nationalparkgeek.com
  6. "We live by wild mercy," Terry Tempest Williams writes. In this hour, she takes us to some of her favorite national parks, from Big Bend to Arches. We also explore the desert wilderness of Utah's Escalante area, and hear about a father and daughter's remarkable adventure into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Lauret Savoy says the American landscape also has a complicated history that can't be separated from the country's racism. And Robert Moor talks about the wisdom of trails. A Father and Daughter Venture Into the Alaskan Wild; Terry Tempest Williams on National Parks; Desert Mind; Land, Race, Memory; The Wisdom of Trails.
  7. In a special five-episode mini-season of Working, we talk with people who have had “second acts,” that is people who made a dramatic career pivot at some point in their working lives.Gerry Allen always dreamed of becoming a National Park Ranger, but by the time he graduated from college, family obligations meant that he needed to take a different career path. He went to work for Delta Airlines, eventually focusing on the company’s environmental programs. In 2001, when Delta offered an early retirement package, Allen decided to make his youthful ambitions come true. At 56, he sent out between 60 and 80 applications, eventually securing a position as a “fee collector” at Vicksburg National Military Park. “That’s the guy who sits at the gate and takes $5 as the cars come through,” he explains. After stops at three other parks in the South, he landed at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.Now retired, Allen talks about the challenges of making his career move; what he enjoyed about being a park ranger; and why everyone should visit the Andersonville National Historic Site. You can email us at production by Jessamine Molli. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  8. Let's explore America the Beautiful, the Complicated, and the Contradictory, where a purple mountain has no sense of its own majesty, through the lens of the quintessential dorm room poster photographer Ansel Adams. See the images: Music used: Django Reinhardt, “Django’s Tiger” The Andrews Sisters, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" The Blue Dot Sessions, “Vibrant Canopy”, “Bridgewalker”, “The Yards”, “Silver Lanyard”, “Velvet Ladder” Tamar Avishai, “Michigan” Joe Dassin, “Les Champs-Elysees" Support the show! Sponsors:
  9. This past summer, Scott Jurek set a new record for running the 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail. But on his triumphant day atop the last mountain in Northern Maine, his 21st century campaign for the trail's record ran afoul of a park founded on ideas about wilderness from a decidedly earlier time. Photo credit: "The Shared Experience" via Creative Commons BIT.LY/23A9KSV
  10. Aurora, sundogs, moonbows; strange names for enchanting phenomenon in an unbelievable place. This is Northwest Territories. A place to delight in the folly and fancy of nature’s tricks. A place to meditate on earth’s biggest, deepest, highest wonders. A place where something will change you.

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