TED'S NATIONAL PARK STAMP CHALLENGE

I decided to take up the Ironbutt Society's National Park Challenge and ordered my passport via the 1-800 number. I had wanted to begin the hunt August of 1996 after reading Greg Pink's many tales of his trips, but was unlucky enough to find the three National Park Visitor Centers on the east coast that had sold out. The originator's of the 25/50 stamp challenge, Mike Kneebone and Bob Higdon, had made the challenge and I decided to accept. Bob recently wrote of the origins of the stamp hunt in his regular column for On The Level and with his and OTL Editor Robert Hellman's permission it is also available here.

In February of this year, after being egged on by Greg Pink, Bill Shaw and Larry Fears I decided to take advantage of a beautiful winter day and rode to Harper's Ferry and Mannassas. The hunt had begun!

I quickly found that the resources for finding stamps were few and far between. While some parks were clearly marked, I had heard from Greg that he had passed within spitting distance of stamps and didn't even know they were there. I tried the excellent National Park Service website, but that only listed about half of the sites that I knew in DC. Then I tried the National Parks Foundation site but it seems to mirror the NPS site. There had to be something else.

After relaying my dilemma to a Ranger/BMW Rider that I met at one of the DC sites, I was told to "go to the source." After a few e-mails and phone calls, I finally got in touch with Eastern National, and shortly had a list of every stamp made and the address to which it was sent. What's that? You want this list too? Simply contact Eastern National, the administrators of the National Passport program. Currently there is no electronic version, and the list shows merely where the stamp was sent, not where it ended up (so a little perseverence, clever use of available resources and inginuity are still your best guides.)

I have decided to use the format below not only to keep track of the stamps I've gotten, but as a reference for the ones I am shooting for.

STAMP

DIRECTIONS, HOURS & PHONE

DATE

NOTES

Antietam NB
Sharpsburg, MD
_____________
Traveling east-west on interstate 70 - exit 29 coming west, exit 29A coming east. Route 65 south, ten miles. Daily, summer: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; daily, winter: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (301) 432-5124 Stick around for the excellent Video Presentation.

State Information

Washington DC Virginia Pennsylvania
West Virginia Maryland Tennessee
North Carolina South Carolina Florida
Maine Massachusetts Connecticut
New Hampshire Vermont* Alabama
Georgia Kentucky

By US Map

Trip Reports

NEW ENGLAND On Hunting Stamps, & The Great New England Stamp Hunt, by Karl Rosenbaum (MA, CT, NH & VT) (07/97)
EAST COAST Details on Philadelphia, by Karl Rosenbaum
Stamp-O-Rama... or, a stamp blitz of the greater North East, by Mike Cornett (07/97)
Help, I'm Stamping and I Can't Stop!, by Greg "Bounce" Pink (07/97)

Since I've started this page I've run across many others persuing the National Parks Stamp Challenge. Here is some of what they have said:

"Did you know that the Congressional Medal of Honor was created in 1861, to honor "uncommon valor in the face of danger" and that there were 128 awarded in the battle of Vicksburg? (122 Army and 6 Navy, the Navy medals all to members of the crew of the USS Cairo, the first US Navy warship ever sunk in battle by an electrically-detonated mine? You *would*, if you were chasing National Parks Stamps!
Get on board, man. Vicksburg and other Parks like it are cool and educational. You can't feel what it was like until you've stood behind the earthworks of Vicksburg, imagining U.S.Grant's shells falling all day and all night and the bullets whizzing around your head like bees."

Tom Bowman, Atlanta, Georgia

Copyright©1997-9 Ted Verrill
This page photos © Bill Shaw
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