Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Favorite Historic Sites. Christine Johnson


I have a confession to make. I love historical markers and monuments, especially those big placards that tell what happened to make a site important. I’ve been known to veer off the highway when I see one.

National Parks passport
Summer is the time of year when I break out my Passport (to the U.S. National Parks) and set off in search of history.

 

At every U.S. national park (or monument) visitor center, I stamp the passport as proof I visited that site. The oldest stamp in my passport is from ten years ago. Do any of you have a National Parks passport?

 

Passport stamps
 
 
Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas is one of my favorites. This pre-Civil War era fort guarded the Straits of Florida and famously housed Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who was convicted for treating John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln.

Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas
 

It's also way out to sea, 70 miles from Key West, and thus one of the more difficult parks to get to. The islands are called the Dry Tortugas because there's no fresh water. Drinking water was a huge issue there!
 
Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawk


Last summer I visited North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Kitty Hawk where the memorial to the Wright brothers’ first flight is located. After studying aviation history for my first novel, Soaring Home, I drank in the windswept dunes and reproduction of their plane.

 



This summer, I went to Glacier National Park in Montana, the setting for my third book, All Roads Lead Home. In fact, I just got back home yesterday. Those mountains in the background are on the continental divide. Whenever I’m there, I think of the settlers and trappers and explorers who passed through and the peoples for whom this has long been home. Those people had fortitude!
 



Have you visited any historic sites lately? What’s your favorite? I’m always looking for new and exciting places to visit.

 
Happy trails,

Christine Johnson
The Marriage Barter (May 2013)
Website: http://christineelizabethjohnson.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChristineJohnsonAuthor
Twitter: @ChristineJWrite

 

14 comments:

  1. Wow, Christine, you're a well traveled woman. Love the post and the passport. Going to have to get me one of those!

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  2. Hi Lynette! It's great fun. I got my latest stamp (at Glacier National Park in Montana) a couple days ago, but I have a lot more to go. The ranger said there are over 400 sites in the United States (National Parks, historic sites, monuments, national lakeshores/seashores, etc.). That's a lot to visit! I hope to see something in every part of the country one day.

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  3. I need to do that with my son. I've been buying him baseballs that have the scenes on them. They're starting to take up a lot of room LOL

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  4. Amazing photos, Christine! I would love to do a tour of National Parks!

    I saw those passports and got my BIL one along with some books a couple of Christmases ago. He's a history buff and loves to hit war memorial sites.

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  5. Hi Pamela! I haven't seen the baseballs, but what a great souvenir idea (except for dusting them later). Yes, a passport takes up less room but you do need to remember to bring it to the Visitor Center. I have a lot of stamps on bits of paper that I then glue into the book because I forgot to bring the passport book with me.

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  6. Hi Missy! That's a great gift idea for a history buff! I think there are around 40-50 national parks?? That's certainly more doable than the 400+ total sites.

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  7. Christine, I love historic markers, too. I've been to all 50 states, and my next goal is to visit all the national parks. But now there are way more than there used to be. My daughter gave me a passport a few months ago. Now I have to do some traveling.

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  8. Hi Merrillee! I'm impressed that you've been to all 50 states. Your next goal is a worthy (and fun) one. Enjoy the travels!

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  9. I enjoyed your post (and photos!) Christine. I confess I'd never heard of that kind of passport--what a great idea.

    Even though I love my home state of Georgia, there are still so many places in the USA that I want to visit (including some of the parks).

    And I'm impressed that Merrillee has visited all 50 states--Wow!

    It was wonderful meeting you at RWA last month (before the RITA ceremony began). I was talking to you about the Great Lakes (which are also on my "Wish List" of places to visit, LOL).
    Blessings, Patti Jo :)

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  10. Hi Patti Jo! It was great chatting with you before the Rita Awards. Naturally I love the Great Lakes, having grown up within sight of Lake Michigan and now enjoying Lake Huron. I still need to explore your home state of Georgia, which is rich in history and so lovely. I travel "through" Georgia often, especially since Atlanta is such a big hub for airlines, but I'll have to make a point to spend some time there in the future.

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  11. You are not alone. I stop at every historical marker I can!

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  12. Hi Lyn! Historical markers are a treasure trove of ideas and information. It's fun to know others share my interest in them.

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  13. I am so late posting but I saw those passports and now wish I had bought one as I went to some of the places in Hawaii like Pearl Harbour, haleakala and then this year went to several of the parks.
    Went to Chichamauga Battlefield which was really interesting and Gettysburg which was fascinating and one of my favourite places.

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  14. Jenny, you are quite the world traveler! I hope to visit some of the places you've already seen.

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