Today's family treasure is not something I have inherited from an ancestor, nor is it something of mine with a lot of monetary value. It is my family's National Parks Passport book. For those of you unfamiliar with these books, they are published by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). Just about every NPS-designated national park, historic site, memorial, monument, scenic river or trail, etc. has a rubber passport stamp that you can get at the visitor centers. The stamps show the name of the park, the date, and the location. My husband and I purchased our book on our honeymoon in 2004. We drove out to the Black Hills area of South Dakota and spent a week exploring the area and visiting NPS sites like the Badlands, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, and Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Since then, we've visited many other NPS locations all over the country, and we still like to plan our trips in areas where we haven't yet collected any stamps. I hope my kids and grandkids hold onto this book after I'm gone. It's a memento of a hobby both me and my husband enjoy greatly and, because each stamp is dated, it tells the story of our travels during different points of our lives.
Emily Kowalski Schroeder