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Category: National Parks T1D Road Trip

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Three months driving around the United States to see its stunning National Parks and to raise money for a diabetes cure at JDRF. I drove almost 15,000 miles from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic and back again. With my insulin in a cooler in the back seat and a backpack full of needles and test strips, I followed whim and inspiration every single day with my travel partner Masayo. We saw dozens of National Parks, met some great people and saw many curious animals, became immersed in the real America by avoiding interstates, and even learned how to eat reasonably healthily in a land where that isn’t the default setting. Follow along on the road trip of a lifetime – and diabetes didn’t hold me back!

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National Parks USA

Diabetes teaches you how to deal with extra nonsense

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National Parks USA

Tough trip planning? Nothing a diabetic can't handle

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National Parks USA

How diabetes skills saved me a bunch of money on the car rental (video)

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National Parks USA

Twelve days until the trip. No I'm not ready yet.

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Day 0
Japan

One hour before leaving for the airport

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Day 1
California

First impressions of America, from an outsider-insider

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Day 3
Channel Islands National Park

High winds block access to Channel Islands National Park

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Day 5
San Bernardino Mountains

L.A. glitz, meet the San Bernardino Mountains

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Day 6
Joshua Tree National Park

Sun, moon, and cacti: Joshua Tree National Park

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Day 6
California

The whole world in two hours, courtesy of Southern California

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Day 8
Painted Rock Petroglyph Site

A lizard beckons us towards ancient desert petroglyphs

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Day 9
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Cactus vs. sky at Organ Pipe

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Day 9
Arizona

The art of Ajo and chilly desert observatories

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Day 11
Arizona to New Mexico

Why you should get the hell off the interstate

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Day 11
Saguaro National Park

Hot insulin and tall cacti in Saguaro National Park

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Day 12
White Sands National Monument

Sand-blind at White Sands National Monument

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Day 13
Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The diabetes cowboy in Carlsbad Caverns National Park – yeehaw!

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Day 14
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains NP, good BGs and spectacular stars

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Day 18
Big Bend National Park

Winds blow BG higher in Big Bend National Park

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Day 21
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Remember the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

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Day 23
Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve - Barataria Preserve

Nothing like swamp-walking to fix high blood sugar

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Day 26
Apalachicola National Forest

Oh the diabetic rage in Apalachicola National Forest

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Day 29
Canaveral National Seashore

Uncaring seagulls at Canaveral National Seashore

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Day 30
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

An American history lesson at Castillo de San Marcos NM

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Day 31
Congaree National Park

All trees and no mosquitos in Congaree National Park

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Day 38
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The lower and greener side of Great Smoky Mountains NP

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Day 40
Mammoth Cave National Park

A tour of Mammoth Cave without a blood sugar check

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Day 44
Hot Springs National Park

What do you mean diabetics can't soak in Hot Springs National Park?!

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Day 45
Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Oklahoma's Chickasaw National Recreation Area gave me perfect blood sugars

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Day 46
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Wait, are those animals *real*?!

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Day 49
Taos Pueblo

Strolling around Taos Pueblo, America's oldest community

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Day 50
Great Sand Dunes National Park

Too windy to hike at Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Day 52
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

How to get the most out of Black Canyon of the Gunnison without hiking

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Day 53
Mesa Verde National Park

Harsh diabetic lessons at Mesa Verde

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Day 54
Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly, the trip's best surprise?

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Day 55
Petrified Forest National Park

Drop what you're doing and go to Petrified Forest National Park now!

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National Parks USA

Read my guest article on healthline.com

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National Parks USA

National Parks T1D Road Trip: Frequently Asked Questions

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Day 58
Grand Canyon National Park

Blood sugar epiphanies at the edge of the Grand Canyon

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Day 60
Zion National Park

The lower and upper reaches of Zion National Park

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Day 61
Bryce Canyon National Park

Among the mystical orange pillars of Bryce Canyon

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Day 62
Utah

A second emergency room visit, and the road trip hangs in the balance

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Day 67
Great Basin National Park

Nevada's desert: from alpine trees to the rings of Saturn

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Day 68
Death Valley National Park

Hot, high, and happy at the bottom of Death Valley

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Day 71
Sequoia National Park

Blood sugar problems in the shadow of Earth's largest living things

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Day 72
Kings Canyon National Park

To a canyon barely accessible by road

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