92 episodes

In Dear Bob and Sue, authors Matt and Karen Smith share stories of their travels to all of the U.S. National Park as well as other spectacular public lands. From adventures gone awry to memorable moments and Q&As from readers, get to know the couple behind the books and get inspired to go on some adventures of your own.

Dear Bob and Sue: A National Parks Podcast Matt and Karen Smith

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 891 Ratings

In Dear Bob and Sue, authors Matt and Karen Smith share stories of their travels to all of the U.S. National Park as well as other spectacular public lands. From adventures gone awry to memorable moments and Q&As from readers, get to know the couple behind the books and get inspired to go on some adventures of your own.

    Our Ten Favorite Day Hikes in the National Parks

    Our Ten Favorite Day Hikes in the National Parks

    Whether you prefer hiking through forests, deserts, or to the top of mountains, this list covers them all. It wasn’t easy narrowing the list to just ten, but these are the hikes we find ourselves doing over-and-over again when we visit the national parks. And as a bonus, we offer alternatives to each of these trails in case you’re looking for easier options or just want more hiking suggestions near these great hikes.
     
    Check out our fun and inspiring apparel at Dirtlander.com
     
    Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.
     
    Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.
     
    To advertise on The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Mailbag! Hiking in Big Bend National Park and More

    Mailbag! Hiking in Big Bend National Park and More

    In our Mailbag! episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, ranger-led tours, road trips, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In this episode, we cover these topics:
    ·     Some of our favorite hikes in Big Bend National Park
    ·     Our thoughts on which parks are good for pre-teens
    ·     Budget-friendly suggestions for visiting the parks
    ·     How we plan for a road trip
     Link to a government site that displays wildfire and air quality info
    ·     Which apps we use to store and remember information about hiking trails
    Link to AllTrails, which we use to research specific trails and read recent trail reports
    Link to GAIA GPS, which we use to navigate and record our hikes
    ·     How to keep your lunch cold while hiking
    Link to insulated lunch bags we use to keep our lunch items cool while we hike
    ·     And more!
     
    Also! Please check out our online merch store Dirtlander.com. Here you’ll find fun and inspiring shirts and merchandise.
     
    Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.
     
    Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.
     
    To advertise on The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.
     
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Our Favorite Slot Canyons in the Southwest

    Our Favorite Slot Canyons in the Southwest

    Breathtaking trails through narrow canyons lie hidden in the vast desert landscapes of the Southwest. These slot canyons, as they’re called, often have walls so close that you can reach out and touch both sides of the canyon – at the same time! And in places, you might even have to squeeze through the tightest passages sideways. Why would anyone want to do this, you might ask? Because the scenery in these canyons is jaw-dropping, to say the least. In this episode, we’re taking you to the Southwest to explore some of our favorite slot canyons in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Southern California. Enjoy!
     
    Also!
    Please take a gander at our new merch website: www.dirtlander.com. There you’ll find our original “20252” designs, (Smokey Bear’s zip code if you didn’t already know) and other fun, outdoor travel-related gear.
     
    Other links:
    ·     Upper Antelope Canyon - Ticket info
    ·     Lower Antelope Canyon - Ticket info for Ken’s tours - Ticket info for Dixie’s tours
    ·     Buckskin Gulch - The Bureau of Land Management’s site where you can find more info about Buckskin Gulch
     
    Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.
     
    Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.
     
    To advertise on The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Mailbag! How Many Days to Spend in Great Sand Dunes NP and More!

    Mailbag! How Many Days to Spend in Great Sand Dunes NP and More!

    In our Mailbag! episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, ranger-led tours, road trips, hiking, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In this episode, we cover these topics:
    ·     National Park Passport Stamp Book
    Where to buy your very own book
    Here’s a link to the National Parks Travelers Club
    ·     How we avoid buying all the tchotchkes and souvenirs on our trips. Spoiler alert: we don’t.
    ·     Planning a camping trip when flying to your destination.
    ·     How to deal with photographers taking the best spots for capturing incredible images in the national parks.
    ·     How much time to budget when visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park
    ·     Suggestions about which national park to visit for a few days that’s close to the Alabama/Tennessee border.
    Mount Leconte Lodge
    ·     Tips on how to get started backpacking.
    ·     How can foreigners volunteer in the national parks when traveling to the US.
    The International Volunteers in Parks Program
     
    Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.
     
    Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.
     
    To advertise on The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 57 min
    Point Reyes National Seashore

    Point Reyes National Seashore

    You might think that a seashore park is just sand beaches, but Point Reyes also has open grasslands and forested ridges that are home to 1,500 species of plants and animals. And for humans, the park offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities, like hiking, boating, biking, horseback riding, and fishing. In this episode, we talk about some of these activities and why you should add Point Reyes to your list of parks to visit.
     
    Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.
     
    Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.
     
    To advertise on The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr
    Mailbag! Planning for Summer Trips and More

    Mailbag! Planning for Summer Trips and More

    In our Mailbag! episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, ranger-led tours, road trips, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In this episode, we cover these topics:
    ·     A brief description of the Garmin InReach satellite messenger device.
    ·     Shower/bathing options for a listener planning a two-week camping trip to the California parks.
    ·     Must-see things to do and see for a listener's upcoming trip to Joshua Tree and the Channel Islands.
    ·     Which parks have a shuttle from a regional airport to the park.
    ·     Where we would go if we had 5-6 days to spend in Southern Utah.
    ·     Which month is best to visit Denali National Park.
    ·     And hiking hat suggestions from Karen, who always looks so cute in her Instagram photos.
     
    Subscribe to The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen, and if you’ve enjoyed our show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. Five-star ratings help other listeners find our show.
     
    Follow us on Instagram at @mattandkarensmith, on Twitter at @mattandkaren, on Facebook at dearbobands, or check out our blog at www.mattandkaren.com.
     
    To advertise on The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast, email us at mattandkarensmith@gmail.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
891 Ratings

891 Ratings

montgomeryelizabeth ,

I love Matt & Karen!

I stumbled upon Matt and Karen’s show when I was doing research for a Utah trip and now it’s my favorite podcast! I’m quickly working my way through all of the episodes and many I’ve listened to more than once! I love how they can bring the parks to life even when you haven’t been there and they’ve helped me find a lot of local state parks and national monuments I otherwise might not have explored!

sister adventurer ,

One more option

After I read all the books and then listened to all of them on my road trips, I was sad to have no more Dear Bob and Sue. Then an amazing thing happened…. I found the Podcast! It is such a joy to hear you two in person. Karen’s giggle and Matt’s sarcasm as they recall their many adventures is just “precious”!

Nancy from Tennessee ,

Dear Bob and Sue Podcast

Thoroughly enjoy the podcasts, as well as the books. During 2020 they served as an entertaining way to pass the time. Matt and Karen are so real and down to earth to listen to. It seems like they are old friends visiting. I now have a "wish bucket" full of places to visit. I just hope that you will have more books to share your adventures.

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