GPO Summer Travel Series: A Visit to Death Valley

July 5, 2019

Summer is heating up, and it’s about to get even hotter. Located near the border of California and Nevada in the Great Basin, this next stop in our summer travel series is the hottest place on Earth. On July 10, 1913, the temperature in this National Park was 134°F. Fill up your jugs of water, strap on your hiking boots, and pack your water misting fans. Summer travelers, we hope you’re ready for Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California!

Death Valley National Park Visitor Guide from the National Park Service (NPS) offers up all the knowledge you need to know to plan a wickedly awesome adventure. Safety first! This guide provides essential information on Death Valley Invasive Burros. The invasive burros in the park today are the descendants of animals introduced into the environment by humans over the last 150 years. They can be mean and aggressive, especially when defending their young. Before our trip, it’s crucial that we all read this guide for what to do if we see an invasive burro. Another important aspect of our trip to read up on is safety and park rules. With these temperatures, it’s essential that you drink at least one gallon of water per day. If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous or have a headache, step away from the sun and drink plenty of water. You might even want to bring extra water and a towel to make a cold compress if necessary.

Did you know that GPS devices will steer you to take “shortcuts” over the desert and into canyons? When you’re out hiking Death Valley, don’t rely on technology to get you around! Remember, we will be in the middle of the desert, so assume cell service will be spotty. These are just a few safety tips. Check out the Visitor Guide for them all. Okay, now it’s on to the fun stuff! You might not have liked your early wake-up call, but there is a reason we got to the park so early. We’re going to Zabriskie Point, known for its golden badlands, to see the sunrise. Next, we’ll hit Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, and Artists Drive, which the guide describes as “a scenic loop drive through multi-hued hills.” If you’re feeling up for a long adventure, you might check out Ubehebe Crater. This breathtaking site was created hundreds of years ago after a volcanic explosion mixed with an underground spring to form a 600-foot crater.

So little time, so much to do! Read the do-not-miss list in the guide to get suggestions on other must-see spots at the park. The sun is finally going down, and we cannot wait to catch a view of the Death Valley night sky at The Harmony Borax Works, which has a mule cart, a neat backdrop for night photography. Did you know Death Valley has one of the darkest skies in the United States? Bring some snacks for stargazing – we plan on oohing and aahing for at least 30 minutes. According to the visitor’s guide, it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to being able to see the most stars. And we want to see them all!

With Death Valley National Park Junior Ranger Adventure in tow, little ones who visit Death Valley can become an Official Junior Ranger. This booklet guides you through what to pack for your adventure to Death Valley. It also offers a map for kids to circle the places they have visited at the park. As they explore the park, kids can play Junior Ranger Bingo, marking spots for completing tasks like finding a plant on the dunes, spotting a cactus, and recording the temperature. Other activities in the booklet include creating a desert animal, exploring the night sky, and telling tall tales like Death Valley Scotty. This storyteller became famous for suggesting he had found gold in Death Valley. People frequented his castle to hear his stories about Death Valley and find out if they could strike it rich there. Scotty’s Castle is currently closed, but reopening to the public in 2020. When you’re all finished at the park, head to a visitor center or ranger station in Death Valley National Park. Show a ranger the book and tell them all about your adventure. Then your little ranger will be sworn in as an official Junior Ranger and get a badge. For being the hottest place on Earth, that’s pretty cool!

With views of dunes and rainbow canyons, Death Valley is one of the most spectacular sites we may have ever seen. We’re so glad you brought along plenty of water to stay hydrated enough to enjoy the activities. See you next time, travelers!

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.

Images courtesy of NPS.

 


Spring into Outdoor Fun with These Books

March 19, 2019

A growing body of research from the scientific community demonstrates the many benefits of spending time in nature, including meaningful improvements on mental and physical health. But when the weather becomes dauntingly cold, it’s easy to get in a rut of staying indoors. Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to be remembered what peace, gratitude and pure joy can be experienced by spending some time outside. Check out these publications for the motivation you need to get your family into the great outdoors this spring!

Connecting People to Their Public Lands 2017 provides an overview of accomplishments by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the areas of education, volunteers, and youth involvement. The report outlines BLM’s programs that provide opportunities for Americans to connect with their public lands and waters to pursue healthy, active lifestyles. Read about the initiatives, including a series of BLM’s Junior Ranger Program, Every Kid in a Park, Hands on the Land, and others, and all their wonderful benefits, in this report. Included in the report are inspirational accounts of visitors, volunteers, and students who have cleaned up trash in rivers, tasted wild raspberries, smelled Labrador leaves, and hiked over rocks and falls. You’ll be fascinated to learn about the great work this agency is doing, from educating underrepresented youth on environmental education to creating plans for more recreational trails to hosting wildland firefighting training courses for military veterans.

Published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation provides a detailed snapshot of our nation’s passion for wildlife and nature. According to Gregory Sheehan of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the report “serves as a road map” to guide the agency’s efforts to “reach more Americans and provide them with opportunities to hunt, fish, and otherwise enjoy America’s wildlife and wild places.” The results are astonishing. In 2016, more than 103 million Americans (that’s 40% of the U.S. population 16 years and older) participated in some sort of fishing, hunting, or other wildlife-associated recreation such as birdwatching or outdoor photography.

With all their youthful energy, little ones need to get outside and run around. One of the newest Junior Ranger Activity Booklets, Wilderness Explorer, provides the opportunity for them to do just that. The booklet starts the rangers off by having them pack essentials they want to bring on their adventure. It then takes them through Wilderness Areas in the United States. It teaches them how to Leave No Trace on their public lands by picking up litter, recycling and reusing. The booklet instructs Little Junior Rangers to think like a scientist and create a hypothesis around something they observe in nature.

Death Valley National Park Ranger Adventure (produced by the U.S. National Park Service {NPS}) offers several activities and educational information for children on a trip to Death Valley National Park in California. With this booklet, children will explore some of the darkest skies in the United States at Death Valley, learn about Death Valley’s changing landscape, and even learn the story of Death Valley Scotty who became famous for telling tall tales about finding gold and building a castle in the desert. Teachers and school librarians may also enjoy these fun-filled lessons to share with their classroom students as part of a learning adventure.

Members of the Coronado Expedition walked nearly 4,000 miles throughout the two-year journey. Now it’s your family’s turn to follow in Coronado’s footsteps with the Coronado National Memorial Junior Ranger Guide. Take a trip to Coronado National Memorial in Sierra Vista, Arizona and bring this handy adventure guide along. Here, you might see 55 different kinds of mammals from baby bats to big black bears. Even explore Coronado Cave and be on the lookout for stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. This booklet encourages kids to do something we all should do more often: sit and be. It instructs kids to take a bit of time to rest, listen, smell and watch. That’s one the adults might want to get in on as well!

Finally, a visit to Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico with Bandelier National Monument Junior/Deputy Ranger Booklet in tow is bound to be a trip you won’t forget. Junior Rangers will find a Ponderosa Pine, interview a Park Ranger, and identify alien plants, making for a trip they’ll tell all their friends about when they return home.

The season of frolicking under wandering clouds, tending to blossoming buds, and when lucky, stumbling across beautiful birds’ nests is finally here. Spring is easily one of the best seasons to spend time outside. So whether you plan a structured trip to explore wildlife and various landscapes, or just explore the beauty in your own backyard, we hope you enjoy your time in nature this season.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.


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