The National Parks Bucket Journal features space for sketches, notes and details about your park visit. Pam LeBlanc photo

I’m heading to Colorado later this month to pick up a new toy: A 2021 Ford Transit kitted out by Wayfarer Vans with a bed, kitchen area and cabinets.

It’s a big step, I know. But last summer, Chris and I spent a week driving around Colorado in a similar campervan, and loved the freedom of being able to pull into a national forest, find a nice spot, and set up camp for the night. Nothing beats waking up early, pushing open the van’s back doors, and watching the world wake up, all from the comfort of your mobile bed.

We’ve spent the last few months ordering accessories for our van, from sheets and pillows to a Luggable Loo Portable Toilet, since our van is not equipped with a bathroom or shower. I’ve even ordered a customized name sticker for our van, which we’ve named Vincent VanGo.

I foresee plenty of road trips in my future, with lots of stops at national parks. I was thrilled when a copy of “National Parks Bucket Journal” arrived in the mail last week, compliments of the publisher, The company makes an array of inexpensive journals focused on parks, states and special topics, like ballparks or historic battlefields.

I’m going to keep my journal in the new campervan I’m picking up later this month. Pam LeBlanc photo

My spiral bound book features pages for each of 62 national parks in the United States, from Acadia National Park to Zion National Park.

So far, I’ve already hit 25 national parks. My favorite? Glacier National Park in Montana, where I spent a night at Hole in the Wall backcountry site during a week-long backpacking trip. The Utah Parks, from Canyonlands to Arches, rank near the top, as do the granddaddies like Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon National Parks. I’ve also had a long-term love affair with Big Bend National Park in West Texas.

I’m hoping to make it to a few more in the next few years – especially Isle Royale in Michigan. (No campervans there – I’ll have to take a ferry over.) I’m putting the journal in the van to keep notes. It’s got maps and room for sketches, plus places to note when I was there, where I stayed, what wildlife I saw and who I traveled with.

Now that I’ve got a van, all I need to do is hit the road and start journaling.




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