There are 59 national parks, and my husband, Bob, and I have camped in five. In July 2012, our two-month honeymoon took us through Acadia, in Maine. We lived out of our Subaru (R.I.P., Sue) and slept in a tent on lake banks or in tree groves—except once a week, when we’d stay at a motel to revel in indoor plumbing. We hiked; we played scopa, this great Italian card game; we kayaked through a seal colony. It was all moss, rocks, deer, birds flying overhead, and so many peanut butter sandwiches.

Two years later, we took a Jucy—a mini RV with stoves, a fridge, and beds—through Zion, Arches, and the canyons Bryce and Grand. It was like Mars: red rocks everywhere. The night sky was filled with meteors. Every day we’d go to a ranger and say, “Tell us what to do.” At Zion, we hiked the Narrows, rust-colored rock walls rising up on either side of a river. I learned how to just be with Bob; often we didn’t talk, just experienced things.

Lately, we’ve been getting the itch again. Our son is nearly 2—we wonder, what’s it like to camp with a toddler? I don’t want to leave a park unvisited. Nowhere else could I feel so awed and dwarfed and alive.

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