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.

Episodes

July 30, 2019 1 min

A married couple packed up everything from their home in Chicago and bought an RV to travel the country full-time, with one goal: to visit as many national parks as possible along the way. With each stop in each park, Brad and Matt Kirouac immerse themselves and the listeners – and the Kirouac’s dog Finn! – in these beautiful, larger-than-life places and share our discoveries about what makes them truly special, from the intimidati...

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In our inaugural episode of Parklandia, hosts Matt and Brad bring friends along for a murder mystery train ride and explore the true comeback story of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which went from notoriously polluted to winning the Oscars of rivers.

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If we were to hop into a time machine and travel back to the year 220 million BC, let’s just say things wouldn’t go well for us. This was a time when the food chain was dominated by crocodiles the size of our RV, and when modern day Arizona was a veritable Jurassic Park of dinosaurs and jungles as beautiful as they were dangerous. Imagine us visiting Isla Nublar, but instead of Jeff Goldblum’s pithy comic relief, it’s pure terror a...

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In the late 1100’s, the cliff faces of Mesa Verde were veritable cities filled with homes, towers, and central plazas. Then, the ancestral Puebloan people completely deserted their homes and communities, effectively disappearing... except for their spirits which still live in these mesas. This episode we recount our visit to those cliff homes and beyond.

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If Batman were to live in a national park, he would definitely live at Carlsbad Caverns. The Dark Knight would surely feel right at home in the enormous, pitch black chambers, just him and a couple hundred thousand roommates who fly out to eat bugs each night. This episode, Matt and Brad explore the caves, take in the wildlife, and work up an appetite at Carlsbad.

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas is a paradise for hikers and rock-lovers, with the tallest peaks in the state, gypsum sand dunes, tons of human history, and the largest Permian fossil reef in the world. And apart from the whole Matt almost dying thing, it made for a wonderful visit! This episode, Matt and Brad battle Mother Nature and enjoy a lot of tuna salad.

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Most people equate flooding with disaster, but it can do just the opposite sometimes—like at Congaree National Park in South Carolina, where flooding represents the circle of life. Matt and Brad go kayaking and make some new friends, and even answer some listener mail.

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September 4, 2019 38 min

Fair warning, listeners: anytime we reminisce about Badlands National Park we tend to get super emotional. Matt first traveled to this South Dakota wonder in 2016 and the Badlands brought on a sweeping sense of awe and admiration. In this episode, we recount our trip here together to this landscape that is part Grand Canyon, part Mars.

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We've been getting questions on Facebook and Insta and in this special Saturday episode, we take some time to answer a listener question about life on the road. In short: it's not an endless vacay, keep a stash of quarters, beware of poo showers.

Got questions of your own? We'd love to hear from you! Follow Parklandia on Instagram @parklandiapod, and join the Parklandia Rangers Facebook Group

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If Al Capone was alive today, we have a feeling he'd be a Parklandia listener. The notorious gangster was, after all, a lover of national parks, just like us! Or at least he was known to frequent the thermal baths at Hot Springs National Park. This episode, we explore this bustling Arkansas mountain city, along with the history, heritage, not to mention craft beer and bath salts it has to offer. Hot Springs is truly not your ty...

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September 14, 2019 11 min

We return to our mail bag and talk about what we said "thank you" to and let go of when we moved into the RV and the logistics of parking one of those things in a National Park.

Got questions of your own? We'd love to hear from you! Follow Parklandia on Instagram @parklandiapod, and join the Parklandia Rangers Facebook Group

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Between the misty rainforests, the ominous beaches, the craggy mountaintops, and immense wildlife like elk and whales, exploring Olympic National Park is like stepping into the home of the Grecian gods themselves. But you don't need to be immortal to enjoy all the adventure and beauty this million-acre park has to offer.

Got questions of your own? We'd love to hear from you! Follow Parklandia on Instagram @parklandiapod...

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September 21, 2019 28 min

In this bonus episode, recorded in the RV that has taken us around the country and to these National Parks we've been talking about all season, we decided to introduce ourselves a little bit. Both of us come from very different backgrounds and have very different stories, and we talk about how those disparate paths led us to each other and to this life on the road.

Have questions for us? We'd love to hear from you! Follow Pa...

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One of our uncontrollable impulses is comparing National Parks to Disney movies. Hiking through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in western Colorado reminded us of Maleficent's castle in "Sleeping Beauty," with all the twisted, gnarly trees and the pitch-blackness of the canyon. In this episode, we'll recount our visit to this hauntingly beautiful place.

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If you’re looking for the perfect place to chase waterfalls and run from black bears, then cap it all off with an apple martini at a makeshift speakeasy, Shenandoah National Park is the place for you! This place has it all: bountiful forests, foggy mountaintops, scenic drives, intimidating wildlife, and quaint towns filled with chatty cab drivers and friendly restaurant service. It’s also got a lot of history, and we’re excited to ...

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Boiling rivers, bubbling mud pots, steaming hot springs, and giant volcanoes. It kinda sounds like that fiery hellscape from Lord of the Rings, but really it’s Lassen Volcanic National Park, the least visited of all 9 of California’s national parks, and a place that’s not nearly as terrifying as its geologic features could have you believe. This week, we recount Matt's ascent of Lassen Peak, Brad's impromptu dip in the lake...

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October 12, 2019 18 min

He makes an appearance in our show intro, and in this bonus episode we discuss our best friend and travel companion, our dog Finn. Life on the road with a pet presents some interesting challenges and we answer a listener question with our tips and ideas about taking care of your fur kids in this mobile lifestyle so they can take care of you.

Got questions of your own? We'd love to hear from you! Follow Parklandia on Instagram &#...

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For the final episode of our first season, we're changing things up just a little bit. This episode is our first one highlighting a national park service unit that isn’t a technical national park. But Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania is no less amazing. It’s the kind of place every student in America learns about growing up, and maybe even visits. And especially from a historical perspective, it’s one of the bi...

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November 20, 2019 12 min

In this crossover episode, we appear on the show Committed, hosted by Jo Piazza.

Last year Brad and Matt Kirouac gave up their very comfortable and secure lives in a beautiful loft in a gorgeous neighborhood in Chicago to live as nomads in an RV with the goal of visiting all of 61 the country’s national parks. Their new lifestyle challenges every single part of their relationships and they’ve been forced to dig deep to see if they r...

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December 23, 2019 1 min

Season 2 of Parklandia is coming January 1st — New Year, New Season! And we're so excited to announce that it's going to be full of our adventures through our National Parks, monuments, historic sites and more. Plus, we'll be talking to friends and travel companions, fellow National Park lovers, we'll discuss more of the ecology and conservation regarding these amazing places, AND you'll get more practical knowl...

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Brad Kirouac

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