Places I Remember with Lea Lane

U.S. National Parks: The Best Of 'America's Best Idea'

March 02, 2021 Mona Mesereau and her family have been to over 75 National Parks and Monuments! Season 1 Episode 5
Places I Remember with Lea Lane
U.S. National Parks: The Best Of 'America's Best Idea'
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Mona Mesereau, husband Tom and family have explored at least 75 of America's national parks and monuments. Mona shares history, tales, tips and the joys of family travels, exploring  the U.S.A.'s precious public parks system.

-- "America's Best Idea"- Mona shares the history of our National Parks, starting with the oldest, Yellowstone.

-- Lea shares some of her park experiences including sunrise at Acadia; a drive around southern Utah parks; the blue water of Crater Lake; dawn at Zabriski Point in Death Valley; Denali in Alaska; Dry Tortugas, 99% underwater -- "ya have to want to get there," on a catamaran from Key West;  birds of the Everglades, "brightened my mood, pumped me up,"says Mona; Gateway Arch in St. Louis; popular Great Smoky Mountains, "near the salt and pepper museum"; Hawaii Volcanos National Park, sometimes active; Joshua Tree (really  bushes and surreal boulders; Kenai Fjords, "whole bunches of bears"; Painted Desert, spectacular colors; Yosemite, stayed at the historic lodge, the waterfalls.

--  Mona tells of pleasures including Great Smoky National Park -- "a bear jam";  and Grand Teton in Wyoming, catching trout.

-- Mona recommends going off-course, a balance between planning and wandering, and using guides and tours; Grand Canyon,  Lake Powell/Glen Canyon, veering off to Wupatki National Monument; reservations for lodges, and the benefits of shoulder season.

-- On Mona's 50th birthday, she details a magnificent day at the bottom of the Grand Canyon,  exploring the back country.

-- She reminds us to protect our parks 'these are our houses in nature"; pick up trash, make purchases, get National Park passports.

-- Mona says take lots of photographs; great lodges and the beauty  of the parks remain much the same.

-- Leave crowds behind, there are plenty of trails, "I've seen Old Faithful erupt at midnight"; solitude of Glacier National Park -- "a chance to think."

-- Lesser known parks:  beyond ruins at Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly; Eastern Parks? New River, the newest National Parks in West Virginia; Gauley River nearby, to raft;  Harpers Ferry.

-- Mona's most memorable experience, at "the American Serengeti" in Yellowstone
Mona Mesereau, editor and executive, launched Mesereau Travel Public Relations with her husband Tom, marketing executive and former magazine editor.; (@monasays) / Twitter; Mona McCoy Mesereau/ Facebook.

Podcast host Lea Lane has traveled to over 100 countries, written eight travel books, including Places I Remember, and contributed to dozens of guidebooks. She's @lealane on Twitter and  blogs about travel at  Contact her at
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"America's Best Idea"- History, starting with Yellowstone
Lea gives a sampling of park highlights throughout the country.
Great Smoky National Park -- "a bear jam"
Grand Teton in Wyoming
Going off-course -- a balance between planning and wandering
Mona recommends guides and tours
Reservations for lodges, shoulder season
Mona's 50th Birthday Challenge in the Grand Canyon
Protect our parks
Take lots of photographs
Great lodges and beauty remain;
Leave crowds behind
Eastern Parks
Lesser known parks
Mona's most memorable experience: