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Saturday, April 28, 2018

DEAR BOB and SUE: ONE COUPLE'S JOURNEY THROUGH the NATIONAL PARKS (audiobook) by Matt Smith and Karen Smith

Published by Tantor Audio in 2017.
Read by David Colacci and Susan Ericksen
Duration: 14 hours, 48 minutes

Matt and Karen Smith decided to visit every National Park in the U.S. National Park System. They decided to only visit the 58 sites that are actually named "National Park". This is important because there are over 400 sites in the park system that have titles like National Monument, National Lakeshore and National Recreational Area - so many that it is doubtful that any one person has been to them all. As if to prove this point, just after the Smiths published the first edition to this book, a new National Park was added to they system and they had to go visit it and update their own book just to keep their own record intact. 

The book is written as a series of e-mails back to their sometimes traveling partners Bob and Sue. Bob and Sue never actually accompany them on one of these trips. They alternate back and forth narrating their adventures in the order that they visited them. 

By necessity, the visits to each of these parks is merely a cursory visit and not detailed description of the park. When you do the math, it works out in this audiobook to about 15 minutes per park, minus stories of their travels to and from the parks. Some get more than that - the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns come to mind. 

Have you ever traveled with another couple? Even if you are best friends, there will be times when you are sick of them and their way of doing things. While I generally found the book to be interesting, there were times that I grew weary of traveling with the Smiths and I put the audiobook on hold for a while, like the time when Karen Smith rinses mud and horse manure off of her hiking boots in the hotel shower and then complains that the shower drain runs slow. Sometimes, their snide comments got a little old but, in the end, I enjoyed this trip through all of the parks. It made me want to get back on the road with the family and start seeing more of the country again.

The audiobook was read by David Colacci and Susan Ericksen. I thought they did a very convincing job as the voices of these two travelers.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: DEAR BOB and SUE: ONE COUPLE'S JOURNEY THROUGH the NATIONAL PARKS.

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