My name is Brandon. I am a gay American, great-grandson of immigrants, married to a son of immigrants. And I deeply love the public lands of my country. I am a son of the Great Lakes, a city-dweller, a child of Detroit, who now lives in Chicago with my husband, Sean, and my cat, Elsa. I am an urbanite who adores, longs for, and writes about our shared spaces.
In the summer of 2010 when I was thirty-one, after a drive through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, I decided to revive a childhood ambition to visit all the U.S. National Parks. Sean was enthusiastic, and it became a project for the two of us, plus our friends and likely our children at some point. We gave ourselves sixteen years to travel to all (then) fifty-eight National Parks (Pinnacles would become number fifty-nine in 2013). While our focus would be the National Parks, we would incorporate side trips to National Monuments, Historical Parks, Lakeshores, Seashores, etc. into our trips.
By the time we launched the project in November 2010, I had traveled to five Parks: Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Shenandoah, Badlands, and Cuyahoga Valley. Sean had been to one: Dry Tortugas.
This site is a chronicle of the journey.
(Image: Sean M. Santos)
AsTheyAre.net is © 2010 – 2021 by Brandon Hayes. Unless otherwise indicated, all images and videos throughout the site are by Brandon Hayes. Contact: behayes @ gmail . com