Go West, First Family!

Adventure Travel, Backpacking & Trekking, Cabins & Camping, Tours & Attractions, United States — By on August 20, 2009 at 5:00 am

yellowstoneby Jessica Goldstein
LG Adventure Editor

Usually the Obamas put the First in First Family, but when the President took his family to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon last week, he actually became part of a pretty long-standing Commander-in-Chief tradition. Bill Clinton visited the Grand Canyon in 2000 and Yellowstone back in 1995, where he and Hillary, ironically, walked around Old Faithful Geyser. President Ford visited Yellowstone in 1976 but he’d been there forty years before, working as a National Park Service ranger. George H.W. and Teddy Roosevelt did the Grand Canyon Yellowstone one-two-park-punch, too. Yellowstone is so epic that, in 1872, President Grant didn’t even have to visit it to decide it ought to be the world’s first national park. And that was before they started serving Moose Tracks ice cream.

Obama Grand Canyon
To get the most out of the Grand Canyon, you will need to get wet. If you’re an experienced paddler and want to go it on your own, get in touch with the river permit office for a list of all the outfitters so you can find the best trip for you. More likely, though, you’ll want to raft the river with a guide. OARS is one of the best; they’ve been running trips since 1969. As for Yellowstone, the guys over at National Geographic Adventure magazine honored it in their “Best of the Parks 2008” feature and have the clearest guide for maximizing your time on the park’s 2.2 million acres.

Grand CanyonIf you, like Obama, MObama, SObama and MaliObama, want to take advantage of the parks’ fee free weekends, here’s what you need to know. You’ve missed the summer window of opportunity-but there are two more chances: National Public Lands Day is September 26 so the parks will be free that weekend for everyone and anyone, and military personnel both past and present can get in for free on Veterans Day.

Put it on your calendar now-and be sure to pack a camera.

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The Lost Girls are thrilled to welcome our new adventure editor, the illustrious (and backpack savvy) Ms. Jessica Goldstein. Jess is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, where she’s been a part of 34th Street magazine and its blog, underthebutton.com. This past summer she interned at Seventeen magazine and now probably knows more about the cast of Twilight than every tweenage girl you’ve ever met. Even though she’s loved all her camping trips, her you-need-to-check-this-out-before-you-die spots are Havasu Falls and the Lost Coast. She is preparing for her semester abroad in London by looking left before she crosses the street, listening to the Beatles, and throuwing the letter u in wourds where it douesn’t beloung.

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