OUTDOORS: Find a way to travel this summer

·3 min read

Jul. 9—Now that the Fourth of July is over it is time to think about the rest of the summer and how you are going to spend the rest of your summer time.

I've traveled all over this country; from sea to shining sea you might say and, although I haven't seen it all, there are very few states I haven't been in.

With that being said, I want to encourage each of you to get out and see this beautiful country we call America.

With gas being as expensive as it is, it makes long travels more difficult for young families especially so I would encourage you to stay closer to home. One or two nights in a camper, a tent, or a motel can allow you to see a lot more than you might expect if you research the area you are going to and find the attractions ahead of your trip.

You can stay local, have a great time, and burn up only one tank of gas if you plan to stay local.

Some of the areas in Illinois I might mention that have camping and/or motels nearby include Kickapoo State Park (Danville), Lincoln Trails Stare Park (south of Marshall), Walnut Point State Park (near Oakland), Evergreen Lake (near Bloomington), and Sam Parr Lake (near Newton). All of these have bodies of water and I have fished all of them.

Some areas in Indiana that I would recommend include Shakamak State Park (near Jasonville south of Terre Haute), Sullivan County Lake (in Sullivan), Rockville City Lake (in Rockville), Dogwood Lake (near Washington) and the Shades State Park (east of Kingman) and Turkey Run State Park (north of Rockville).

If you want to travel this great country there is nothing better than waking up next to the Grand Canyon, seeing the red rock of Sadona, Arizone, watching a geyser erupt in Yellowstone, or seeing the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon in Utah.

My wife and I have rafted the Chulitna River in Alaska below Mount Denali, spent time with a pod of humpback whales who spent an hour or so swimming around and under or chartered boat, spent well over an hour with a herd of elk so close that we could read the numbers on their ear tags in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. We completely circled Mount Rainier in Washington, Stood beside the world's largest trees in Redwood and Sequoia National Parks, stood on top of Half Come in Zion National Park and walked the ruins of Mesa Verde National Park and I still can't get enough of this country!

I don't care to see Paris or London or any city outside the United States because there is so much of this country I haven't seen. I've stood between the stones at Gettysburg but haven't seen the Alamo. I stood where Custer died but have only been to one Civil War battlefield. I just want to see it all!

Far too many people travel the same route every year to see family but never venture off the beaten path; try it sometime!

God Bless America; for me, it's the best there is and there are plenty of places left to see!

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Saturdays. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam70@aol.com