National parks explorer urges Americans to ‘get out there and see’ them

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ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, ME - JUNE 28: The view from "Raven's Nest" a secluded spot on the Schoodic Peninsula side of Acadia National Park, seen on a gray day, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

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HARI SREENIVASAN:  Now to our “NewsHour” Shares.

Tonight, an update to a story we brought you earlier this year.  Last June, Darius Nabors set out to visit all 59 national parks in 59 weeks to commemorate the Park Service’s centennial anniversary.  We spoke with Nabors on the National Mall recently, as he prepared to finish his tour at Maine’s Acadia National Park this week.

DARIUS NABORS, Visiting National Parks:  My name is Darius Nabors, and I’m visiting all 59 national parks in 59 weeks.

It’s been a little crazy.  I have essentially been all over the country visiting all the national parks, and just spending time in beautiful places.  So I like to say that I traded the modern conveniences of life, like a microwave and a coffee maker and things like that, for beautiful sunrises, beautiful sunsets and just beautiful views of our country.

Most recently, kind of coming west, I went from Badlands National Park in South Dakota, to Hot Springs in Arkansas, mammoth cave in Kentucky, and then all the way down to Florida, where there’s Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park.

There’s additionally a park in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so we did have to go out there.  They actually have an underwater trail.  So they have little signs that are kind of put down into the ground that when you’re snorkeling, you can pass over them.

The thing I love about the parks is there’s such — well, it showcases the diversity of the country in terms of geology or environment.  And so those underwater ones are just totally different.  You get to see alligators.  You get to see fish.  You get to see manatees.

So we’re going to Acadia last for our 59th park, and it’s one that I haven’t been to, so I’m very excited about that.  They always say you got to watch a sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, so I will go and do that.  It’s the first one on the East Coast, and so it’s kind of special in that sense.

And then I think, for the trip, it’s been a trip of going to bed and waking up with the sun.  And so it’s just going to be another beautiful sunrise.  It’s wonderful that we have all 59 of these parks.  I always say that, if you can get Congress to agree on something, like the beauty of a natural place, then it means it’s pretty special.

And so I’m just super thankful that we have set aside these places for other people to enjoy.  Just get out there and see it.  You don’t have to go camp in the backcountry, like I do.  That’s what I love, but I think it’s important for other people to do the things that they love.  If they want to go to an overlook and look there, if they want to go and do a hike, if they want to spend time with family or friends, I think that’s the wonderful part about the parks, is it provides so many experiences for so many people to enjoy it in ways that they like.

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