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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Watch Ken Burns' National Parks: America's Best Idea series on PBS or online

History, National Parks, TRAVEL, United States

Last night, the first in a series of 6 programs on America's National Parks aired on PBS. The remaining programs will be shown this week.

In case you missed last night's, or are unable to see them all, they are also available to view online the day after they appear on TV until October 9th.

Being avid National Parks fans at our house, we watched Episode 1. It highlighted the early history of the National Parks concept and our nations first 2 National Parks: Yosemite and Yellowstone*. Yosemite was the first land set aside by an act of congress; it was put under the jurisdiction of the state of California.

But the program raised an interesting question: had Wyoming been a state at the time Yellowstone's 2 million acres were designated as a park in 1872, would it be just another state park like Yosemite or National Park?

In any event, I am grateful it was set aside for the enjoyment of the people--we sure enjoy it! Pictured is Beehive geyser, a name given to the dome shaped cone by the 1870 Washburn expedition mentioned in the program.

(Beehive's plume can reach to about 200 feet tall. Very impressive, especially because you view it from close range--so close you sometimes get wet!)

Enjoy.

*PS: Yellowstone is hands down our favorite park. I mispoke in the comments, Grand Canyon North Rim would be 2nd favorite, Yosemite maybe 3rd, but it is rather like picking a favorite child! Bryce, Zion, and many others could easily vie for the number 3 slot! And then, there are all those still to be visited. destinations!

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