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.
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:
Copyright©1997-9 Ted Verrill