Q&A with Backpacker’s National Park Centennial Tour Road Team
For the past year and a half, Aidan Lynn-Klimenko and Madison Perrins have been living on the road. Last June, they loaded up and started a year-long journey to Peru, taking pictures along the way as the Vanajeros.
Aidan and Madison now have the best job ever, thanks to Subaru of America Inc. and Backpacker Magazine; as the Backpacker National Park Centennial Tour road team, they're visiting as many national parks around the country as possible (they’ve hit 26 so far!)
We chatted with Aidan and Madison about their exciting national park adventures and asked them to share some of the breathtaking photographs they’ve snapped along the way.
How long have you two been traveling together?
This adventure has been a year and a half long, but Madison and I have been traveling off and on throughout our 4-year relationship.
What makes this road trip so unique?
People are most often surprised by the length of the road trip. A year and half and counting is a long time to be living out of a car!
Where did you each first find your park?
We both fell in love with the Badlands, which was actually one of the first parks we visited. We were there on the fourth of July, and instead of a fireworks show, we saw an amazing lightning storm in the distance.
Which park have you most enjoyed photographing on the road trip to date?
Yosemite has got to be one of the most photogenic places around. That, and Wrangell - St. Elias in Alaska with its rivers of ice and towering mountains.
Which national park would you love to explore that’s not on the #NPS100 itinerary?
Unfortunately the Utah parks had to be left out on this journey. We love that part of the country and will definitely be exploring there on our own after the #NPS100 adventure. We’d also heard so much about Acadia in Maine—someday we’ll make it up there!
If you had two sentences to entice somebody who’s never been to a national park to visit, what would you say?
You don’t have to get on a plane to experience a whole new world! The national parks are an accessible way to explore a landscape you’ve never seen before.
If you’re like us and you can’t enough of Aidan and Madison’s captivating talent for visual storytelling, be sure to check out the full collection of photos from their adventures here. You can enjoy their tales from the road on their Instagram account or by following Backpacker Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
East Coast readers also have the opportunity to meet the Backpacker National Park Centennial team in person. They'll lead photography clinics from now to mid-March. Enter the NPS100 Photography Contest to win great prizes including gift cards and gear! See below for a stop near you.
- Feb. 27: Bill Jackson Shop for the Outdoors, Pinellas Park, Fla.
- Feb. 29: Diamond Brand Outdoors, Asheville, N.C.
- March 5: River Sports Outfitters, Knoxville, Tenn.
- March 12: Great Outdoor Provision Co., Charlottesville, Va.
Photo credits: Backpacker Magazine National Park Centennial Tour