Amazing Vacation Spots Jennifer Arnold Tusculum College
Five Fabulous Destinations on One Continent: Assateague Island National Seashore…...5 Carlsbad Caverns……………………....15 Denali National Park and Preserve…….24 Everglades National Park……………....33 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park……….41
Assateague Island Vocabulary: 1. Feral- having escaped from domestication and become wild 2. Sustain- to give support or relief to 3. Descendent- proceeding from an ancestor or source 4. Plausible- reasonable 5. Revert- to return 6. Inhabitant- one that occupies a particular place regularly, routinely, or for a period of time.
This park is accepting adoptive parents. For a small donation, visitors may adopt one of its most famous inhabitants. The animals in question stay in the park and the adoptive parents receive pictures and newsletters.
Visitors to Assateague Island National Park may enjoy many outdoor activities, such as: camping, hunting, shell collecting, biking, surfing, and kayaking.
The most common reason to visit the island is for its most famous citizens, the wild, swimming horses.
“Assateague's wild horses are well known, even to many people who have never been to the island. The "wild" horses on Assateague are actually feral animals, meaning that they are descendantsof domestic animals that have reverted to a wild state.”
“Local folklore describes the Assateague horses as survivors of a shipwreck off the Virginia coast.” “The most plausible explanation is that they are the descendants of horses that were brought to barrier islands like Assateague in the late 17th century by mainland owners to avoid fencing laws and taxation of livestock.”
“The horses are split into two main herds, one on the Virginia side and one on the Maryland side of Assateague. They are separated by a fence at the Virginia/Maryland State line”
“Many visitors first learn about the Assateague horses from Marguerite Henry's famous book Misty of Chincoteague.”
“The story takes place during a traditional Chincoteague festival called "Pony Penning.” On the last Wednesday of July, the Virginia herd of horses is rounded up and swum from Assateague Island to nearby Chincoteague Island. On the following day most of the young foals are auctioned off.”
“It is important to limit the number of wild horses on Assateague. Left to themselves, the horses will quickly destroy the barrier island environment that sustainsthem.”
Vocabulary for Carlsbad Caverns: • Exodus- a mass departure • Cavern- large cave • 3. Prickly pear- any of numerous type of cactus having flat, spiny stems, yellow, orange, or reddish flowers, and often edible fruit. • 4. Chollas-any of several spiny treelike cacti the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, having knobby outgrowths and yellow spines. • 5. Sotols- any of several plants of the agave family, native to the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. • 6. Agaves- plants having spiny-margined leaves and flowers in tall spreading panicles
“As you pass through the Chihuahuan Desert and Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas—”
“…filled with prickly pear, chollas, sotolsandagaves…”
“…you might never guess there are more than 300 known caves beneath the surface.” The caves are located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
“The park contains 116 of these caves, formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone, creating some of the largest caves in North America."
The cave rooms are often named after objects they resemble, such as: Dolls Theater, Veiled Statue, Texas Toothpick, The Christmas Tree, Witch’s Finger, The Temple of the Sun, The Devil’s Den, and the Totem Pole, among others.
“From mid-May through mid-October, visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park can enjoy the evening Bat Flight program.”
“…watching the incredible exodus of Mexican free-tail bats out of Carlsbad Cavern at dusk in the summer.”
Denali National Park and Preserve • Vocabulary: • Intrepid-resolutely fearless • Massif - a compact portion of a mountain range, containing one or more summits • 3. Preserve-a place set apart for protection • 4. tundra-one of the vast, nearly level, treeless plains of the arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. 5. Caribou- Large, North American deer, related to the reindeer of the Old World.
Roughly 400,000 intrepid travelers journey to Denali National Park and Preserve each year, primarily between late May and early September.
Visitor to Denali can enjoy many activities including: camping, bus touring, hiking, hunting, cycling, mountaineering, flightseeing, and photographing wildlife.
“Congress created this park in 1917 specifically to protect the wildlife living along the slopes and in the valleys of the Alaska Range.” The park is home to many species, including caribou.
Only as an addition in 1980, when Congress tripled the park in size, did the entire massif of Mt. McKinley get squeezed into the boundaries of Denali National Park and Preserve.
“… Denali National Park and Preserve is home to both black bears and grizzly (brown) bears. Black bears inhabit the forested areas of the park, while grizzly bears mainly live on the open tundra. “
Everglades National Park Vocabulary: 1. subtropical - a region between tropical and temperate; semitropical. 2. Endangered species- a species at risk of extinction 3. Biosphere - the part of the earth's crust, waters, and atmosphere that supports life. 4. Wetland- land that has a wet and spongy soil, as a marsh, swamp, or bog. 5. Diverse - of various kinds or forms 6. Verdant- green with vegetation
“Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, boasts rare and endangered species.”
“It has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, significant to all people of the world.”
“Since its dedication in 1947, Everglades National Park has been touted as one of the great biologic wonders of the world. Taking center stage is the diverse array of animals that call this place home.”
“Camping, boating, hiking…are all possible. Many have enjoyed exploring some of the 156 miles (251 km) of canoe/kayak and walking trails and 47 designated wilderness campsites...”
“Thriving amidst a verdant, expansive wetland, the wildlife of the Everglades encompasses the tiniest grass frog to the biggest American crocodile.”
This vast array of species includes birds. “Over 360 species have been recorded in the park and the list continues to grow.” The Little Blue Heron is one of those.
Find out what shouldn’t be in this picture. What non-native species is wreaking Havoc on the Everglades ecosystem. “Whether you have just an hour, or a whole week to explore, the vast Everglades may seem overwhelming as you plan your visit.”
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Vocabulary: 1. Migration-a movement or change of position 2. Distinct-unquestionably exceptional or notable 3. Thrust- to push or force one's way 4. Astounding-to overwhelm with amazement 5. Trade winds- any wind that blows in one regular course, or continually in the same direction. 6. Archipelago- A large group of islands
“Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution -- processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with unique ecosystems, and a distinct human culture.”
“The park highlights two of the world's most active volcanoes…” “…the ongoing eruptions of Kilauea Volcano and the periodic eruptions of Mauna Loa, offers opportunity for the scientist and casual observer alike, to witness the formation of an array of astounding geologic features…”
“…including new cinder cones, glowing pit craters, rivers of lava and fountains of spatter.”
“The island of Hawai’i actually consists of five volcanoes as part of a volcanic chain of islands created over a 70-million-year period.”
Moisture from trade winds creates extremes in rainfall within the Park supporting a wide diversity of lifezones and habitats.
“Welcome to a world that shelters an array of Hawaiian native species including a host of fascinating birds, carnivorous caterpillars, the largest dragonfly in the United States, crickets partial to new lava flows, endangered sea turtles…
“Most native animal species in the Hawaiian Archipelago are descendents of those that were able to fly here, such as birds, bats and insects; those light enough to be carried by birds, such as snails, some insects and spiders; and those blown here or washed ashore.” One example is that of the happy face spider.
Superb voyagers, Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands migrated to Hawai`i over 1,600 years ago. Navigating by the sun and stars, reading the winds, currents, and the flight of seabirds, Polynesians sailed across 2,400 miles of open ocean in great double-hulled canoes.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a fascinating world of active volcanism, biological diversity, and Hawaiian culture, past and present.