Not Your Average Travelers by Nancy-Ann Card Feren

Not Your Average Travelers: 40 Years of Adventures in All the US National Parks has just been published and is available on Amazon.


Simplicity, frugality, and a love of both nature and history have led our family to 417 national park sites and campgrounds across the country. My husband, Dick, and I along with our three children kept journals of every trip, journals which have been invaluable as I have pursued my passion and project. Our home away from home, pictured here, is a two person tent and sleeping bags.  My idea of luxury!

My passion for the national parks didn’t really begin as a passion at all. As a child I visited Badlands  National Park in South Dakota, with my parents. Although we stayed in a motel, we went to a campfire program at the park and I was intrigued with the idea of camping. In the early years of our marriage, with two young boys and not much money, we bought a used tent and drove to Acadia National Park in Maine. By the end of our week there, we knew we would like to return.  However, our goal at that time was to visit all 50 states so our summer trips took us away from New England and to other national parks across the country.

In 1995, with our children adults and away from home, Dick and I drove 12,000 miles to Alaska and back, thus completing our visits to every state. Now we needed a new goal and decided to visit every national park. This quest morphed into visiting every site in the national parks system—monuments, memorials, battlefields, seashores, etc. The list is constantly changing. After almost every trip, a new site was added.  419 sites are currently listed—one in Hawaii is not yet open to the public and in August we plan to visit one which was just established in Kentucky last October.

After I retired I transcribed all our journals to the computer. Friends kept urging me to write a book , so with the help of these journals, I began. Passions and Projects at our 50th reunion offered an opportunity for me to share my first draft and lots of pictures with others. I was excited by the enthusiastic response and came home ready to finish Not Your Average Travelers: 40 Years of Adventures in All the US National Parks which has just been published. It is available on Amazon. You can find more information on my website,  or contact me at or


 We met these bears at Katmai National Park

 in Alaska.  We were waiting with a park

 ranger for a “bear jam” to move when Mama

 and two cubs walked across the path in front

 of us.