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National Park Quiz 87: Red

This National Park Service archival photo of American Red Cross founder Clara Barton was taken in Russia in 1902. If you're familiar with the national historic site established in Ms. Barton's honor, you know that she had a very distinctive-looking house.

With the leaf peeping season already underway in many parks, color is on the Quizmeister's mind. We've already done a Green quiz (and a Colors quiz too, now that I think of it), so let's go with red this time.

1. True or false? Compound words like redwood notwithstanding, none of the 392 units of the National Park System has the word "red" in its official name.

2. True or false? The red color of some sandstones in national parks of the southwestern states is due to the presence of rose quartz.

3. True or false? The Red Bus tour buses operating on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park were originally yellow when delivered to the park in the 1930s.

4. True or false? Red-tailed hawks, red-legged frogs, and red abalone can all be found in Cape Cod National Seashore.

5. True or false? The red tides that sometimes harm fish and other wildlife in national parks on the Florida coast occur after unusually heavy tides stir up bottom sediments containing toxic heavy metals.

6. Marked by a red line consisting mostly of red bricks, the 2.5 mile-long _____ is vital to the operation of Boston National Historical Park.
a. Patriots Trail
b. Freedom Trail
c. Founding Fathers Trail
d. Paul Revere Trail

7. The historic Red Brick Barracks, which consists of a row of interconnected two-story buildings with covered porches, is situated on the border of a former parade ground in
a. Fort Laramie National Historic Site
b. Fort Davis National Historic Site
c. Gateway National Recreation Area
d. Golden Gate National Recreation Area

8. The Red Spouter, which gushes red water and mud from late fall to early summer and then becomes a fumarole until fall, is located in
a. Yellowstone National Park
b. Haleakala National Park
c. Lassen Volcanic National Park
d. Katmai National Park

9. The historic site established to honor American Red Cross founder Clara Barton features a large house that was built to resemble
a. a harbor fort
b. a Mississippi riverboat
c. a Spanish mission
d. an English manor house

10. It is possible to be caught red-handed poaching elk in each of the following National Park System units EXCEPT: (Choose the one that "does not belong.")
a. Redwood National Park
b. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
c. Voyageurs National Park
d. Buffalo National River

Extra Credit Question:

11. In his book Prairy Erth, William Least Heat-Moon discussed factors that promote biodiversity in grasslands such as those preserved at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Least Heat-Moon called one of these factors the "red buffalo." To what was he referring?

Super Bonus Question:

12. If you are driving east on Scenic Byway 12 and you pass through Red Rock Canyon in the Dixie National Forest, what national park unit lies only a few miles ahead of you?


(1) True. Although the word "red" may appear in the name of some subordinate administrative components, the word red is not included in the name of any of the 392 units comprising the National Park System (compound words like redwood, notwithstanding).

(2) False. It is iron oxide that imparts a rusty-red color to some sandstones.

(3) False. Glacier's iconic red busses, recently-refurbished survivors of the fleet that White Motor company built for the park during 1936-1939, are -- and always have been -- painted Mountain Ash Berry Red.

(4) False. While red-tailed hawks are very widely distributed and occur in the Cape Cod region, red-legged frogs and red abalone are found only in certain areas of the Pacific Coast states. One National Park System unit that has all three species is northern California's Point Reyes National Seashore.

(5) False. The red tides in Florida and elsewhere in the eastern Gulf of Mexico are caused by algal blooms. The algae involved, a dinoflagellate species called Karenia brevis, produces a powerful neurotoxin (brevetoxin) that can be harmful to fish, birds, marine mammals, and other wildlife. Since red tides do not necessarily produce reddish-colored water and have nothing to do with the tides, scientists prefer to call them harmful algal blooms. (To further complicate things, red tides are not always harmful.)

(6) b -- The Freedom Trail, established by the City of Boston in 1958 as one of America's first urban-historical walking tours, is a red line (mostly red brick) linking 16 of Boston's major historical sites, including Boston Common, the Paul Revere House, and Old North Church. The National Park Service formed a partnership with the Freedom Trail Foundation that gives the Boston National Historical Park access to the Freedom Trail for promotional and operational purposes.

(7) d-- The historic building complex called the Red Brick Barracks (aka Montgomery Street Barracks) faces the former parade ground on the Main Post of the Presidio of San Francisco, a component of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

(8) a -- The geothermal feature known as the Red Spouter is located in the Fountain Paint Pots area of Yellowstone National Park.

(9) b -- The designer of the 38-room Clara Barton House, Dr. Julian Hubbell, gave it a long and narrow shape, flanking chimneys at the front, and other features suggestive of a Mississippi riverboat. Originally built in 1891 to store Red Cross supplies, the building was remodeled in 1897 for office and residential use, served as Red Cross headquarters for two decades, and was Ms. Barton's principal residence for the last 15 years of her life.

(10) c -- Voyageurs National Park has no elk population, but all three of the other listed parks do.

(11) Least Heat-Moon called fire "the red buffalo" because periodic fire, like bison grazing, promotes plant and animal diversity in grasslands.

(12) If you drive east on Scenic Byway 12, passing through Red Rock Canyon in the Dixie National Forest, you will soon reach Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.

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