On this date in 2017, I visited my 417th and final NPS unit at Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort, SC. A wonderful group of National Park Travelers Club members joined me for a celebratory weekend. The end of my park journey coincided with my 47th birthday. Kareen joined the fun as well.

The group toured the Brick Baptist Church across from the Penn Center on St. Helena island. Salves built this church in 1854 and inherited it when the landowners fled before the 1862 Union invasion. The island’s Gullah community has maintained the church ever since.

In acknowledgement of the more than $50K I spent traveling to parks around the country in 2016 and 2017, we took up a collection during lunch. The $27.55 in my hat didn’t cover travel expenses.