One of the perks about living in an RV, is going all over the country and visiting famous places. However, never underestimate the fun in reading a book, or watching a movie, about the next place you are going to explore. I have found this helps me understand more and I intentionally look out for some things or places I have read about in a book that I normally would not pay attention.
The Mysteries in our National Parks is a really good book series which centers around the national parks. To date, I have only read Over The Edge, which is about the Grand Canyon, and Buried Alive, a story about Denali National Park in Alaska.
These books give a little bit of insight into some of the endangered species located in the park, as well as some cool things to look for when visiting the area.
Misty Of Chincoteague is a great novel to read if you are planning to visit Chincoteague, Va., or Asssateague, Md. Every year in July, Chincoteague holds a wild horse round-up and auction. The book features a young boy and girl who participate in the round-up and auction.
It is exciting to witness each part of this week long tradition after reading about it in the book. If you don’t get a chance to read the book, the local theater plays the film with free admission, but, I must say, the book is way better!
After being a part of the Chincoteague round-up, my family ventured north to the island of Assateague where we camped on the island with the wild horses roaming freely through our site.
Little House On The Prairie is a book series set in the 1800s. I learned so much reading these books. Many times, we would visit museums and I could point out things with their name that I knew because I read about them in these books. Many times I could teach my family what I knew.
You may also choose to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum in Pepin, Wis., or Walnut Grove, Minn., which formed the basis for the TV series.
The entire book series is written about the real Laura Ingalls Wilder and her adventures as a young girl growing up on a prairie in the 1800s. This series is also featured as a TV series which can, usually, be rented at the library. Again, I encourage you to read the books first.
I understand not everyone can read, or likes to read, books. My family also enjoys watching movies that feature places we plan to visit. We usually watch them the day before a visit so it is fresh in our minds and the excitement is pumping.
Gettysburg is a high action movie about the actual battle of Gettysburg. We were lucky enough to visit on the 150-year anniversary, so we also witnessed many battlefield reenactments. If you visit the National Park Service Center, you can also partake in the many programs they offer.
My family was lucky enough to enjoy a private tour from a knowledgeable park ranger, or you may also purchase a CD to play during a self-guided tour. However, after seeing the movie, and participating in the tour, I felt as though I was able to visualize the historical battle at Gettysburg, Pa., in an unforgettable way.
Flight 93 is about the real-life tragic story of United Airlines Flight 93 on and the brave people that gave their lives Sept. 11, 2001, knowing they would die. These brave heroes crashed their plane in an open field near Stonycreek, Pa.. The jet was heading for Washington, D.C., and their actions resulted in saving hundreds of other people that day.
When you visit the historic site of the crash, you will get to hear some of the stories, and see some of the pictures, in the memorial of the lives you learn about in the movie.
Rocky was a super entertaining movie, but was a little rough with the boxing. We watched the movie and then visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art where he runs up the steps. We were so amazed at the height of the steps, but that didn’t stop us from throwing our arms over our heads and running all the way to the top!
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is an older alien movie where people become obsessed with Devils Tower in Wyoming, but have no idea why. The characters embark on a trip to this tower to discover a wonderful encounter of the “third kind.” While visiting the monument, I was very curious as to what exactly was on the other side of the tower.
The Battle of Little Bighorn on history.com is about Custer’s Last Stand with the Indians at Little Big Horn River, Mont. It’s an amazing story of when the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians claimed victory over the U.S. Cavalry. When visiting the field, you can tour the cemetery where cavalry soldiers rest, as well as sacred Indian monuments.
Decoded is one of my favorite shows on the History Channel. We watched the episode on the Georgia Guide Stones prior to visiting Elberton, Ga. This place was super cool. My dad fell in love with this monument and the mystery of who put it there. To this day, people are still trying to find out who put it there and what it’s true purpose is. I really suggest visiting this awesome mystery.
Whether you choose to read a book, article, brochure or advertisement, or watch a movie or documentary, I suggest doing a little research, when possible, about adventures planned. It can certainly build the anticipation of a visit, as well as give you pointers of what to look for while there.
Best of all, it’s a great way to package up a complete homeschool subject and get your mom to issue you credit!
I also read books for fun and when I have nothing to do in the car during trips. Here are some of my favorites I read this summer, you may enjoy as well.
The Giver is a futuristic series of four novels. Each book has a different main character, however they all intertwine with each other, so I suggest reading all of them. I found them intriguing and they really passed the time and miles away while traveling or just sitting at home.
A Summer To Die is about a little girl’s one and only sister faces an illness after they move to a new and strange place. The little girl tries to blame her sister’s illness on herself, but soon finds that there was nothing she could have done.