Stuff You Need To Know: U. S. National Parks

Months ago I stated sharing fun, quirky and odd facts as Facebook status with #stuffyouneedtoknow. I was tired of all the negative stuff that came through news feed. So, it was my way to lighten things up.  I’ve learned a lot of cool stuff and have decided to expand it to my blog. So the topic for the inaugural blog edition of #stuffyouneedto know is United States National Parks.

  1. The National Park Service was August 25, 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service as a bureau in the Department of the Interior. Originally, the National Park Service was responsible for protecting 35 national parks and monuments. In 1933, 56 monuments and military sites controlled by the Forest Service and War Department were transferred to the National Park Service.
  2. Park Ranger Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning 7 times during his 35 year career as a park ranger at Shenandoah National Park.
  3. Delaware is the only state that doesn’t have either a national monument or national park.
  4. A South Dakota miner started calling Mount Rushmore by this name after a visiting New York attorney – Charles Rushmore – inquired about the name of the granite cliff. The name stuck and became official in 1930.
  5. Castile de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest masonry fortress in the United States.  Built from conch shell bricks the Castile  withstood bombardment from British cannons with little damage. Each night the Spanish troops would remove the cannon balls from the walls and repaint the Castile. The Castile never fell to attackers.Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida
  6. Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the world. It was created in 1872 when President Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park act.
  7. 95 percent of Biscayne National Park us 95 percent underwater. It is known for its beautiful coral reefs.
  8. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States.

    Great Smoky National Park
    Great Smoky National Park
  9. Many believe that Hot Springs National Park not Yellowstone is the oldest national park. Even though the Hot Springs National Park became a federal protected area in 1832. It didn’t become a national park until 1921.
  10. The 2,180-plus-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail passes through 14 states.






Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Coast near Rockport as a Category 4 storm. It is the worst storm to hit Texas in 50+ years. Harvey has been downgraded to a Tropical storm but is dumping an enormous amount of rain. Many areas like Houston are facing epic floods.


Review: PDQ

AutismSpeaks-SocialSquareI don’t usually review chains but I will make an exception for PDQ. PDQ’s name means People Dedicated to Quality. It is more than a name for PDQ. It is a business model reflected in the freshness and quality of the food. During the month of April a portion of the proceeds from the Spicy Buffalo Tenders Combo goes to support Autism Speaks.

Rating: Excellent. The food is always fresh. Outstanding service.

Food: Probably my favorite chicken place. The chicken is fresh not frozen. The sauces are made in house. Their one weakness may be some of the sauces especially the ranch. They make an awesome lemonade. Oh, they do have Cheerwine by the bottle.

Selection: PDQ is a chicken place. They do offer a turkey sandwich. Their menu features a selection of chicken sandwiches and salads. They do have fresh cookies and shakes.

Service:  Awesome

Atmosphere: Nice quick service location

Allergy Rating: Good. Watch out for the awful Coke Freestyle machine. They do have a source of ice that doesn’t come from that machine. They also have lemonade, tea and bottled Cheerwine.

Overall: Outstanding – my favorite chicken place.

Don’t Mess with Texas — Wildflowers

Last week as I was photographing wild flowers. I noticed a pile of trash mixed in with the beautiful flowers. It reminded me of Don’t Mess With Texas anti-littering campaign.



Living in Florida I got very tired of people mentioning that every time something was said about Texas. It seems that non-Texans thought it was funny to throw that phrase out of context. Oh, and most who use it think they are being witty, funny or original. Many actually believed it came from the Alamo. Probably the same people that thought the U.S. won the Battle of the Alamo. Yeah, I know that the US wasn’t fighting and that Mexico won that Battle. They are actually surprised to learn the real origin of the saying.

Texans are very familiar with the Don’t Mess With Texas campaign. The campaign features ads like the one below staring famous Texans.

So while you are out enjoying the wildflowers remember to clean and Don’t Mess With Texas.

Throwback Thursday: Cedar Key at Sunset

I took this in 2014 on one of our trips to Cedar Key, Fl. Cedar Key is a quaint fishing village in North Central Florida on the Gulf Coast side. This shot was taken as our boat approached the deck.


Throwback Thursday: Sunset in World Golf Village

Originally posted, July 24, 2009.  When we lived in Florida, St. Augustine was one of our favorite get-a-way spots.  St. Augustine is a beautiful old city full of history, funky cool shops and of course the beach.
World Golf Village St. Augustine, Florida

I really love the contrast between the colors of the sky and the silhouette of the trees.