Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ken Burns continues PBS series #4

The fourth episode of the PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns uses the influence of the family car as the theme.  I'm sure that almost all of us that can be counted as national park visitors arrived there by car.  It didn't start out that way.  It was trains and stagecouches, then trains and buses.  Given the choice most people prefer the freedom of their own car.

By family car - that's how I first remember my first national park, Great Smoky Mountains.

My brother and I didn't really worry much about the bears but we sure wanted to see one.  Today, I wonder if mom just wanted proof that we were warned.  (wondering? I'm wearing red shoes)

But maybe she just like signs?

There's no mention of cussing in Ken Burns documentary but I do remember my dad cussing about losing the brakes after all the downhill stops.  He enjoyed scaring us so I'm not sure if the brakes were going out or he just wanted us to be scared about it.  Being from flatland Illinois these mountains were huge but of course nothing compared to what I would hike on later in life out west.

We stayed at places with "Good Food".  You can barely make out those words on the white building.  (click on the picture to enlarge)  Nice mountains in the background.

I enjoy learning more about the history of Great Smoky Mountains park.  Two men involved with making it a park couldn't have more different lives - Horace Kephart and John D. Rockefeller Jr.  They shared a common goal in protecting natural places.  Horace lived on the land and Rockefeller helped buy the land.

I've driven through and visited Great Smoky Mountains many times since my childhood visit.  It's a beautiful refreshing place.  Thankfully, people before me thought about my generation and next to keep it.


Fantastic Forrest said...

Love these old road trip shots. It's making me antsy to pack a bag and head out...

At least your folks took you to places with "Good Food." Mine always took us to those with "Eats" signs. I miss those days.

Thank goodness the places are protected.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Great post and I love the old photos. Family road trips were so exciting when we were kids.

Bill Lisleman said...

@FF - I'm so glad that they took those pictures, the slides were not damaged over the years, and I was able to capture them digitally. When it comes to food you can't always trust a sign.

@JJ - thanks - those trips were fun and even as a older guy, they still can be.

Lisa said...

I'm glad you post old photos. And the cars! Aren't they beautiful.

I enjoyed the history and stories behind the national parks. We don't have PBS but we do have the History Channel. Hopefully they'll run the shows.

I must add that, during my first trip to the US, my husband took me to the Grand Tetons and I just literally broke down and cry when I set my eyes on them. And we sat and watched sunset, we didn't realise that it was summer solstice and when we started looking for dinner, it was like 10pm. All we could find was nachos at the bar and they were wonderful.

I really hope you don't mind me share long comments. I do love the US national parks so. Thank you for sharing the series in your posts.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Ocean Girl - your comment intrigued me, so I went to check out your blog. It's GREAT! But I can't leave a comment on that type of form for some reason, just the ones like lisleman uses. So I wanted to tell you here - nice blog!

Bill Lisleman said...

@ocean girl - your comment is not long its interesting. Thanks for sharing.

@ff - you should try again maybe something on her site was messed up. I've never noticed a problem.

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Pseudo said...

Awesome post; I love the photos and those cars and that diner!

lisleman said...

Thanks it was fun to post because it brought back memories.

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