51 Mailbag!

In our mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about traveling, hiking, public lands, outdoor gear, and whatever else is on their minds. In this episode, we’re talking about road trips, train trips, bears, and ticks. If you have a question you’d like us to answer on a future episode, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.

Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.


Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.


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50 The Best National Parks to Visit in Each Season

We get a lot of questions from people asking us what parks they should visit during specific times of the year. On today’s episode we’re going season to season, talking about which parks are great to visit during the winter, spring, summer, and fall. We cover all 63 national parks, taking into account factors like their weather, accessibility, wildflowers, fall foliage, crowds, and much more. Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take notes. You might learn a few seasonal travel tips that’ll come in handy when planning your next spring break destination, summer vacation, or fall getaway.


Some of the topics we discuss in this episode:

·      The only national park that closes in the winter

·      The one piece of the U.S. that is below the equator

·      Our favorite park to snowmobile in

·      Best national parks to view the brilliant fall colors

·      Which park you can tour while on a beer train excursion

·      The park you’d visit if you also wanted to attend the International Chili Championship

·      Which parks you can visit in the winter for a tropical getaway

·      And our list of national parks that are great to visit in any season.


Links to more information:

·      The Kula Cloth

·      Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (link to the beer train)

·      54th Annual CASI Terlingua ​International ​Chili Championship

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49 Glacier National Park: Part 2 of 2

From historic hotels to jaw-dropping vistas to spectacular hiking trails, Glacier has it all. Because of its mountainous terrain, activities and sights are clustered in several unique areas of the park and along the central park road corridor. A visit to this magnificent place feels like going to several national parks, all nestled around the Continental Divide. It would take a lifetime to see and do everything that Glacier National Park has to offer, and in this second episode of our two-part series on the park, we talk about our favorites. If you haven’t listened to the first part of this series, please check it out here.


Some of the topics we discuss in this episode:

·      Why it’s so important to do advanced planning before visiting Glacier NP

·      The best time to visit

·      Recent changes to the park’s system for entering the park – you may need a reservation

·      Why you might want to park your car and take the hikers’ shuttle

·      Overview of the historic lodges and hotels in and around the park

·      Some of our favorite hikes in each area of the park

·      Where to get the best huckleberry bear claws in Montana

·      And much more!


Links to more information:

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48 Glacier National Park: Part 1 of 2

The Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park is one of the most visited and beloved destinations in the National Park System. In this part 1 of 2 episodes on the park, we discuss one of its most unique aspects: their backcountry chalets. Ten chalets dotted the park back more than a hundred years ago, providing visitors a place to rest between day-long horseback rides. Today, three of the ten original chalets still exist and operate as places where travelers can spend a night or two while exploring the park. In August, we hiked up to Granite Park Chalet, along the Highline Trail, and spent a couple of nights in this historical site. Join us as we talk about how we planned the trip and our experience in the backcountry of this magnificent park.


Some of the topics we discuss in this episode:

·      Why the Great Northern Railway built the backcountry chalets

·      What happened to all of them

·      Which ones still exist

·      Planning a visit to stay at one of the remaining chalets

·      Why you’ll need a reservation/ticket for Going to the Sun Road

·      Tips and tricks regarding the park’s shuttle system

·      The story of our visit to Granite Park Chalet in August 2021


Links to more information:


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