Parklandia

Parklandia

A married couple packed up everything from their Chicago home and bought an RV to travel the country full-time, with one goal: to visit as many national parks as possible. With each stop in each park, Brad and Matt Kirouac immerse themselves and the listeners – and the Kirouacs' dog Finn! – in these beautiful, larger-than-life places. They share discoveries about what makes the national parks truly special, from the intimidating wildlife of the Everglades to the cinematic lore of Redwood. It's all that and a dash of what it’s really like to live in an RV full time.... Show More

Episodes

The world is made up of living and nonliving things that are all hanging out together in different configurations. The stuff that's hanging out together in Yellowstone — wolves and porcupines and Douglas firs and mayflies and geysers and snowstorms — are different than what you'd find in the Everglades between alligators and turkey vultures and sawgrass marsh and microorganisms. And just like with sports or the stock market...

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There’s a lot to see and do in Florida. It’s got Mickey Mouse, South Beach, Harry Potter, Key West, orange juice, and… two of the most terrifying animals, together at last. That’s right, Everglades National Park is the only place on Earth where alligators and crocodiles coexist, and it’s just one of many fascinating facts about this epic national park.  

Yet as scary as that may seem, it pales in comparison to the horrors of having ...

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As the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, disrupts life across America, one of the many unexpected consequences of much of public life shutting down is the closure of campgrounds and the displacement of full-time RVers and van-lifers. We heard from many listeners living out on the road that they were scrambling to find new sites to go to and we thought we could help guide listeners toward some of the resources in plac...

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Ever since I was a kid, when I would rent Jaws from the local video store on a weekly basis, the ocean has simultaneously been the most captivating place for me, and also my worst fear. It’s a testament to the ocean, and the mystery of that watery wilderness that kept me coming back for more. This is a park where getting into the water is paramount. You can’t come here and not doing something at least on top of the water, if not un...

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March 14, 2020 21 min

In this bonus episode of Boondocking with Brad, we answer perhaps the most basic question: what is "boondocking?" Basically, it's staying in your RV without hooking up to outside power, and we'll talk you through some of the dos, don'ts, concerns, and things to keep in mind while on... and off... the road.

Got more questions? We'd love to talk! Join the conversation in the Parklandia Rangers Facebook Group an...

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We compare national parks to movies a lot on this podcast, and that’s mostly because these places have a larger-than-life vibe and atmosphere that truly looks like something out of a film. But no park is as much of a cinematic star as the one we’re talking about today, which is Redwood National Park in California. These soaring forests have totally soared to movie stardom over the years, appearing as the backdrop for some pretty se...

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When you think about the Grand Tetons, what comes to mind? Is it iconic, snowy mountains, pristine lakes, and grizzly bears? But how about White Russians, white water rafting, and hootenannies? All of those things take place here at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and clearly, there’s a lot to love about this epic park. We'll discuss the magnificent vistas, the food, the need for proper footwear, and the ubiquity of bear ...

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New Mexico has some of the best regional foods and ingredients in the whole country and we are obsessed. Green chilies, blue corn, piñon nuts, and the list goes on. So many amazing flavors—too many to fit into one episode, so we're focusing on just two areas we've spent time in: Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In this bonus episode, we'll cover some of our favorite local dishes, restaurants, brews and spirits.

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Driven by cultural curiosity, celebrity chef Hugh Acheson (Bravo TV's Top Chef, Iron Chef Canada) is a globetrotter who travels the world for his acclaimed cooking and his television appearances, and he knows the best way to understand a destination starts with a good meal. This new travel podcast takes listeners off the beaten path with Hugh’s opinionated anecdotes and insights on where to go, what to eat, who to meet, what to...

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American history is fraught with contradictions and incomplete—or sometimes outright wrong—interpretations. We were confronted with this head-on at Little Bighorn National Monument in southern Montana. The place serves as a monument to the Battle of Little Bighorn, which took place in June of 1876 between new settlers and the Lakota-Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. Until 1991, this site was named in honor of General George Ar...

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On our Yellowstone first-parter, we talked about both of our individual first trips to America’s O.G. national park, along with info on thermal features and a supervolcano that you don’t really need to worry about. Now it’s time for the sequel episode, Yellowstone: Full Throttle. Because just like that insane sequel to Charlie's Angels, our part 2 episode of Yellowstone is filled with stunts and sights that defy logic and possi...

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So you've got your brand new RV and you're ready to take in on your first journey and you pull into your campsite and... now what? In this bonus Boondocking with Brad episode, we'll talk about the basics of hooking up and turning on... your lights and water! Plus, Brad finally spills the story about The Incident in Santa Fe that we've been hinting at all season. Spoiler: It is gross!

Got more questions? We'd love...

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With over 200 miles of mapped passageways (and a mind-boggling amount yet to be discovered), Jewel Cave National Monument is the third longest cave in the world. And all of that lies in just four square miles beneath South Dakota. The folks who named the cave did so appropriately (and not after the singer), because inside lies a dark, ominous cavern lined with shimmering crystals. This episode, we recount our visit and about sharin...

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For season 2 of Parklandia, there are a lot of firsts we were excited about, and new chapters to begin. From the first guest interviews to the first time we called 911 from a national park. And today is another first: it’s our first time covering an urban park! Washington D.C. is just so rich with history and culture. And the omnipresence of memorials and historic sites is inescapable. And while the classical white marble buildings...

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In this past week's episode, we covered Matt's family trip to Yellowstone. Brad visited Yellowstone while on the "maple trail," selling barrel-aged maple syrup for Burton's Maplewood Farm across the country. In this special bonus episode, we sit down with Tim Burton (not the director, the producer...of maple syrup!) in-studio to talk about the journey on the maple trail, camping in the world's first national...

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We think it’s safe to say that Yellowstone is the most iconic national park in the country. It’s the first example people think of when they think of national parks, and its most notable features, like geysers and bison and grizzly bears, have come to be synonymous with the National Park Service. Not only is it an American icon, but it’s the second largest national park in the contiguous U.S., it’s one of the most visited parks in ...

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We love our life on the road, but it's hard not to long for some of the familiar sights...and tastes...of our old home in Chicago. In this episode of Traveling Eats with Matt, we'll start in our old neighborhood of Ukrainian Village and go over our favorite places to grab a bite and a drink.

Follow Parklandia on Instagram at @parklandiapod, join the Parklandia Rangers Facebook Group and Like our Facebook page!

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When it comes to big-time national parks, it doesn’t get much more iconic than Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. I mean, really, these mountains are featured on Coors Light cans. That’s big. This park really is just larger-than-life and overwhelming in the best way, with some of the mightiest mountains in the country. So it’s no wonder why Rocky Mountain is not only one of the most visited parks in America, with more than 4...

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For our second installment of Boondocking with Brad, we'll go over the nuts and bolts of what you need to know about operating and maintaining an RV, from how to power it all the way down to what kind of toilet paper you need for the very different lifestyle on the road.

Got more questions? We'd love to talk! Join the conversation in the Parklandia Rangers Facebook Group and Like our Facebook page! Also be sure to follow Par...

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When most people think of Kentucky, they might think of bourbon, horse races, fried chicken... all fitting, but what about the largest cave system in the world? Mammoth Cave National Park is not only the longest cave on Earth (or in Earth), but it is fascinating to learn about all the weird and wild ways this cave has been used over the years, from burial site to gunpowder manufacturing, to whiskey distillery, to church, to hospita...

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