Stories from a life traveling with T1D.
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I decided to skip Zion on this road trip because it's so packed with tourists. But I changed my mind and I'm glad I did: hiking in Zion was fantastic and as usual got my blood sugar down to where I wanted.
90% of visitors to the Grand Canyon only see the south rim. We saw both rims, and on the south rim I had a grouchy epiphany about high blood sugar: forget about it.
Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert offer some of the strangest and most alien landscapes on the planet. And it's just a simple drive through the desert to see it all.
In the obscure corners of America you can find some wondrous sites, but few are as amazing as Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Ever heard of it? I hadn't.
Mesa Verde National Park let me down with regards to a campsite but the ancient history of the place taught me some important lessons, about life and about diabetes.
Not only did I manage to see virtually all of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, but the visit finally straightened out my blood sugars. Can't ask for more than that!
Great Sand Dunes National Park is great but on the day I went, the wind was so strong that hiking was discouraged. I mean, I tried, but man it was rough going.
On a visit to Taos Pueblo I learned about an ancient American culture and figured out how to take insulin for a Tiwa Taco, sitting on a plastic chair in the cool dirt under the warm spring sun.
I thought central Oklahoma was just 'okay'. The animals and vast fields of flowers in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge turned my head around, and gave me perfect BGs to boot.
What exactly is the diabetes-themed National Parks T1D Road Trip? Who is running it? How can you get involved? It's all here in the FAQ.
About the article I wrote for Diabetes Mine about my National Parks Type 1 Diabetes Road Trip and Fundraiser. Read the article here.
There's a lot more to Oklahoma than fields and flatness. Chickasaw National Recreation Area taught me this, and also gave me a series of excellent blood sugars.
A brochure warned diabetics not to take baths in Hot Springs National Park but I did anyway. I worried about my blood sugar the whole time but it went great.
I was worried how my blood sugar would behave on a tour of Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Help was eight hours away but it all went pretty smoothly.
There may indeed be great and smoke-colored mountains 'round these parts but the green and moist underneath is a charming alternate look at GSMNP.
On a visit to Congaree NP the weather couldn't have been better or the wildlife more behaved. We even got off the walkway and ventured into the swamp primeval.
You can get a completely non-boring, hands-on (and ears-on) history lesson at Castillo de San Marcos NM, a fort in St. Augustine, Florida. Even nicer in perfect weather, too.
I ended up with an extremely high blood sugar today, and it was because of a stupid mistake. Thankfully, Canaveral National Seashore was awesome enough to distract me.
Perfect blood sugars before bed didn't last the night tent camping in Apalachicola in NW Florida. And I didn't handle it gracefully, temperamentally speaking.
The tale of a walk deep into the Louisiana swamp, surrounded by frogs, dragonflies, alligators, and a downright enjoyable sense of creepy foreboding.
A tour of The Alamo and San Antonio Missions Natural Historical Park was a nice change of pace from the scenic Parks so far on this trip. Too bad about that BG though.
Despite some hardships – natural, human, and diabetic – camping in Big Bend National Park was one of the most restful nights of the road trip so far.
Spending the night in a tent in Guadalupe Mountains National Park not only straightened out my diabetes for the day, it gave me a stellar sky show.
Intense exercise directly after an insulin shot is daunting, but I got through it almost perfectly on a trip to wondrous Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
I was blinded by the sun's glare and my BG was a little high but an afternoon at White Sands National Monument was like a mesmerizing trip to some alien beach.
Longer, less-efficient, slower, and much more beautiful: small highways are definitely better than big interstates when you're on an epic road trip like this one!
Keeping insulin cool in Saguaro National Park is a challenge but worth the trouble: these cartoonish and gigantic cactus plants are an unbelievable sight.
Roller-coaster blood sugars didn't diminish the excitement of an artists' oasis in the Arizona desert and a vast collection of observatories high above an Indian reservation.
I had both the lowest and highest blood sugars of the trip so far at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, but it was still an extraordinary camping experience.
On a side trip to see some ancient Native American petroglyphs in southern Arizona, I met a lizard and got a great blood sugar reading thanks to a kindly cactus.
From a dusty little box canyon to lush green vineyards to a low saline sea to wild, unforgiving desert sand dunes, southern California said goodbye in style.
Camping plans didn't work out but Joshua Tree National Park gave us everything: sunset, full moon, cactus gardens, wildlife... and those insane trees.
The Hollywood sign, a motel made of wigwams, an alpine lake picnic and a dusty desert drive, all within in a few hours. Plus some encouraging blood sugar signs.
Fierce winds canceled all boats at Channel Islands National Park, but the visitor center was still worth it. And my blood sugars finally improved today.
On Day 1 of this epic road trip, my reverse culture shock upon returning to the US asserted itself in some embarrassing ways. People still vape!
My flight leaves in about four hours. I think I have everything finished but who can say. I'll find out when I get there and start the big USA road trip!
With just days to go until my gigantic National Parks road trip I have almost no details planned. And that's just fine with me - makes it interesting.
I didn't want to pay the full price for a 90-day car rental so I used my BG management skills to gradually find lower and lower prices. Here's the video.
Some trips take more planning but that's almost as much fun as traveling itself. Being diabetic complicates things more but gives you the tools to handle it.
Some things are more complicated for diabetics than others. But that just makes it easier to handle problems and issues in other parts of life with aplomb.