Picturesque Puzzle of the National Parks of the United States

by Elmer Prather, guest blogger from Canton, GA

This is the 29th Cobble Hill puzzle I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is titled National Parks of the United States. It is a 2000-piece puzzle and is the largest puzzle I have put together.  When I spend this much time putting a puzzle together, I have to have a connection with the puzzle. The connection I have with this puzzle is how beautiful it is and the memories of the parks I have visited over the years.

National Parks of the United States 2000 piece puzzle assembled by Elmer Prather
Mr. Prather's 1st 2000 piece puzzle - National Parks of The United States
There are 62 National Parks in America and I have toured 22 of them. The first National Park, Yellowstone, was established in 1872. The Indiana Dunes National Park is the newest, it was established in 2019.

Below are some of the memories I have of several of the parks I have been blessed to have toured:

1.     Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah. The park is adjacent to the Colorado River, 4 miles north of Moab, Utah. The area was designated as a National Park on November 12, 1971.  My favorite memory of this park is hiking through the park and seeing all of the gigantic arches formed eons ago.

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the ridge line of the Great Smoky Mountains. The border between Tennessee and North Carolina runs northeast to southwest through the center line of the park. Great Smoky Mountains is 4-hour drive from my home. It is the most visited National Park because it is within a day’s drive for almost half of the population of the United States. The park was chartered by the United States Congress in 1934 and officially dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. My favorite memories of this park is riding a bike around the 11 mile one way loop road in Cades Cove and hiking many of the well-established hiking trails within the park including the Appalachian Trail.

3. Dry Tortugas National Park is located about 68 miles west of Key West, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. My favorite memory of Dry Tortugas is when I snorkeled around Fort Jefferson.  Fort Jefferson is located on the island. It is a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. The fort is the largest masonry structure in America. It is made up of 16 million bricks. Juan Ponce de Leon, the explorer, visited Dry Tortugas on June 21, 1513 and named it Dry Tortugas after the large number of turtles he found there. It is called Dry owing to the absence of surface fresh water on the island. 

4. Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. The area around Bryce Canyon was originally designated as a natural monument by President Warren G. Harding in 1923 and was designated as a National Park by Congress in 1928.  My favorite memory of this park is the great views I had of the canyon from the saddle of the mule that I rode down into the canyon.

5. Mesa Verde National Park was established by Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. My favorite memory of this park is walking through the centuries old structures and touching the foundations that are still intact after all these years. The park protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States.

6.  Yellowstone National Park is located mostly in Wyoming, with small sections in Montana and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.  My favorite memory of Yellowstone is watching, from my room at the Yellowstone Inn, as the Old Faithful geyser erupted over and over. It erupts every 35 to 120 minutes for 1 ½ to 5 minutes. Its high ranges from 90 to 184 feet.

Each park that I have toured has its own personality. They are all so different but they each offer visitors the ability to view special places in their pristine natural state. We owe a lot to President Theodore Roosevelt. During his presidency, he protected approximately 230 million acres of public land. Today, the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt is found across the country. There are six National Park sites dedicated, in part or whole, to him.

And from Cobble Hill, we want to say congratulations to Mr. Prather on his first 2000 piece puzzle! What a great accomplishment. We're so pleased to share his stories, which are always full of history and wonderful sentiments. We hope you enjoyed this blog.  While National Park Week may look different this year, we hope you'll enjoy a digital experience below with our online jigsaw of this National Parks Puzzle. Wishing you our best, stay safe!
National Parks of the US 2000 piece puzzle box Cobble Hill Puzzles
A challenging 2000 piece puzzle celebrating National Parks of the United States
Available at your favourite local retailer or online store.
On the Cobble Hill USA and Canada website, search item code: 89012

Enjoy the digital experience of visiting a park (~500 pieces, unless you change it)
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