NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Travel opportunities in 2020 have been few and far between, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy stunning sights courtesy of Airstream’s new national park series.

J.D. Simkins  – December 29, 2020

home tour logo

Renowned recreational vehicle manufactuer Airstream is taking their line of travel trailers to some of our country’s greatest destinations—and inviting us along for the ride as part of the company’s recently-launched Portable Park series.

The short films, which run approximately 6 minutes per episode, have so far highlighted locations such as Grand Canyon, Everglades, Yellowstone, and Arches national parks.

Launching the series, the company said in a release, was designed to bring “spectacular scenery and landscapes from the nation’s most breathtaking public lands directly into American homes for free.”

More Videos From Sunset

“The Portable Park content series captures the spirit of these natural wonders through immersive HD footage shot by Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team, MacGillivray Freeman,” the Airstream release said.

Each episode is accompanied by a round-up of general park information and an essay on fascinating historical morsels, such as the experience of Edward Abbey, who, in the 1950s, spent two summers as a park ranger in a dilapidated mobile home in the remoteness of then-Arches National Monument. (Arches earned national park designation in 1971.)

Abbey’s experience became the basis of his highly regarded autobiographical environmental book Desert Solitaire, first published in 1968.

“The air is untroubled, and I become aware for the first time today of the immense silence in which I am lost,” Abbey wrote in one passage.

“Not a silence so much as a great stillness … A suspension of time, a continuous present. If I look at the small device strapped to my wrist, the numbers, even the sweeping second hand, seem meaningless, almost ridiculous.”

Though first published over 50 years ago, Abbey’s priorities of nature over civilization and the freedom of full immersion over the distraction of human invention reverberate greatly today, especially in a world in which a global pandemic has recalibrated the priorities of so many.

“Arches, 65 million years in the making and ever-changing, is an ideal spot to gain some perspective on our lives and problems,” the Portable Park authors noted.

“The worn red rocks are a poignant reminder of some essential truths. We are but sparks in time, and part of something incomprehensibly bigger than ourselves.”

Want more? Get caught up on the first few episodes of the series here.

Read Our 2021 Harvest Issue Right Here!

Get one year of Sunset—and all kinds of bonuses—for just $24.95.