"Climbing the Hill in My Own Way" PinkFloydActuary's Profile

Why PinkFloydActuary?

I never was one of those clever people who could come up with a great screen name, so I simply melded the name of my favorite band with my chosen profession, and there you go! As far as I know, it's a dorky enough choice that nobody else uses it across the Web, so if you see it elsewhere, there's a good chance it's me.

For those of you who love Floyd as much as me, I try to slide a reference in here and there (such as the title of this page), I hope you enjoy them!


If I had unlimited resources (and a little more writing talent), I'd simply travel all the time and write about this wonderful planet. I'm sure lots of folks here feel that way too.

My top goal is to see all of the national parks. Some of the remote parks in Alaska will make that a stretch, so my more realistic goal is to get all of those in the continental US. So far, I would say my favorite is Yellowstone, by a mile. I hope to get back to there and spend a little more time exploring it in even greater detail.

My favorite destination is Las Vegas - I'm not sure if there are two more polarized favorite vacation destinations than a National Park and Las Vegas, but I love them both. 2012 brought my 24th visit to Vegas, and again I was amazed at how much there was I hadn't seen before.

What's next?

I'm of the mindset of seeing a little of everything and then going back to see places we like in depth. I'd like to hit a little more in the southwest in the upcoming years (Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns and Saguaro.) With a 5 and 8 year old now though, the nature trips may need to take a backseat for a while.

48 states down, just Alaska and Hawaii to go!


So far in 2014, I had a short jaunt to Vegas, a business trip to San Francisco, and a family trip to the Canadian Rockies. Vegas highlights here! San Francisco and Vegas reviews are up...Canadian pages underway!

I still need to get some things up there about Gurnee. I hope I can go out and get some pictures from around town one of these days....(boy, that excuse is getting thin.)

My Personal Top 12

Since I've only ventured outside the US twice, and that was into Canada, I probably don't have as diverse of a set of experiences to choose from. However, that doesn't stop me from having my 12 favorite destinations in alphabetical order (I couldn't decide who wouldn't make the cut anymore):

1) Acadia National Park - the whole Maine coast is fantastic, and the few hours spent here weren't close to being enough
2) Arches National Park - the trails, the scenery, one of the best
3) The Black Hills of South Dakota - so many wonderful natural sites and mountain-side monuments
4) Bryce Canyon National Park- the best park outside of Yellowstone
5) Crater Lake National Park- You'll never see a prettier shade of blue
6) Devils Tower National Monument- Close Encounters of the cool scenery kind
7) Glacier National Park - Alone with the bears and this Montana beauty
8) Las Vegas - Never a dull moment after nearly two dozen visits. Always something new
9) Multnomah Falls- The whole Columbia River Gorge is something spectacular, and this is the crown jewel
10) Olympic National Park- So many different landscapes - something for everyone
11) Yellowstone National Park- I'm already planning out for the next trip out there
12) Yosemite National Park- As beautiful as advertised.

Vegas Archives

On my Vegas page, you can read my trip reports - the highlights of our annual- ish treks out West. Because I can only store 10 at a time, my archives will be stored here on my homepage.

  • Intro Updated Jul 22, 2014
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Real Name
John Wiklund
Gurnee, Illinois
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