Happy 100th Birthday Rocky Mountain National Park!

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One thing I love just as much as American Girl dolls are National Parks. I love hiking, backpacking, camping, and just being outside. In our quest to visit every U.S. national park, this summer my husband and I visited Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado during its centennial anniversary. Today specifically, September 4th, is the 100th anniversary of the dedication ceremony. RMNP is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and I am so thankful that I’ve been able to visit twice in my life. Happy Birthday RMNP, here’s to many more!

As you can see, Abby accompanied us on our trip. I didn’t take many pictures with her because carrying an 18 inch doll on an eight mile trek up a 13,000 foot mountain was not my highest priority. Here she is posed on Trail Ridge Road, though, the highest continuous paved road in the country with arguably some of the best scenery, too.

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When I contemplate the history of something, my mind often thinks in terms of American Girl characters, so it is fun to think how to think this park and the Rocky Mountain range as a whole has impacted girls (and all people) for the past 100 years (and longer!)

Though they were not the Colorado Rockies, Kaya’s life was dramatically affected by the presence of the mountains and the resources and spiritual significances they provided.

Josefina’s family’s rancho was surrounded by the mountains which provided water, beauty, and other important resources.

Kirsten had friends who went west on the Oregon trail, which involved dangerous and sometimes deadly passes through the Rockies.

Rebecca and her family surely would have read about the new National Park in the newspaper on this historic day. She and other city dwellers would have been fascinated by the romantic and adventurous visions of the mountains and the west that were often portrayed.

Kit’s brother, who was in the Civilian Conservation Corps, might have gotten to work in the park building roads, trails, and infrastructure. Much of the CCC’s work is still visible today.

With the rise of the tourism industry and the advent of the Eisenhower interstate system post WW2, girls like Molly, Maryellen, and Julie could take vacations to the park and others like it with ease.

Girls of Today like Abby can enjoy a multitude of awesome park activities like hiking, fishing, rock climbing, attending a ranger program, or earning a junior ranger badge.

I love national parks so much and agree with documentarian Ken Burns’ famous quote: “National Parks: America’s best idea.” Abby and I wish RMNP a very happy 100th birthday! 🙂

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