The Centennial: A Journey Through America’s National Park System


Born in St. Louis and raised in southern Illinois, David Kroese enjoyed a 25-year career in the biotechnology sector after earning a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. Finding personal growth and development stalled in the second decade of his work tenure, David chose not to start anew in the corporate world. Instead, he turned to his lifelong personal interests to fill the void.

Since childhood, history and places of natural beauty fascinated him, naturally drawing him into physical and literary exploration. Having subjugated these interests to his career, David flipped his priorities. Maintaining a job assignment that could often be completed remotely during off-hours with a laptop and mobile phone, David set out to achieve personal fulfillment with the adventure of a lifetime, visiting all of America’s National Park units.

David lives in Chicago with his wife Kareen.

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Sparked by the opportunity to explore his personal passions, David Kroese turns away from a rewarding yet languishing career and begins the adventure of a lifetime. What happens next evolves into a tour of all four hundred-plus units in America’s National Park System — a perfect way to celebrate the 2016 National Park Service centennial.

The Centennial: A Journey Through America’s National Park System details David’s compelling centennial explorations to 387 parks in 360 days. The story continues through December 2017, when he becomes one of fewer than fifty people known to have visited all 417 national parks.

His personal expedition is a poignant exploration into quintessential America as told through its historical and natural wonders. Delve into diverse locations from Hawaii to the Rockies, New England to the Caribbean, Charleston to the California desert, Alaska to American Samoa.

Join David and experience the inherent marvels within America’s unique landscape and fascinating history, revealed in engaging context, poetic descriptions, and heartfelt appreciation. The Centennial: A Journey Through America’s National Park System is an odyssey of self discovery and fulfillment through the nation’s soul.


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