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Designing Women S3 E8 - Get on the Bus, Gus

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Our ladies are going on a wilderness retreat–courtesy of Bernice–whether they like it or not. They get split into separate groups, and let’s just say, the results are surprising. As we learned in season 2, Bernice is not to be underestimated.

Stick around for this week’s "Extra Sugar", where we talk about National parks in the South, including Georgia.

Some reads:

Come on, let’s get into it!



Salina: Every time we start this, I just want to like operatic, like, that's how I want to open it.

Nikki: Oh, but I'm not going to.

Nikki: You threw me for by not saying, hey, Nikki.

Salina: I know.

Nikki: Oh, my gosh.

Nikki: Now I don't know if I can get my feet back under me.

Salina: I was wanting to do more like a figuero.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Figurative.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: You know.

Nikki: I do know.

Salina: I know.

Salina: You know.

Salina: And if you're a millennial of the.

Nikki: Elder nature, you know as well.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: And if you don't know, then my figuero is not very good.

Nikki: Mrs doubtfire my friends.

Nikki: Watch it.

Salina: Check it out.

Nikki: Give it a gander.

Salina: 1993, what a year.

Salina: Jump around, I say.

Salina: Jump around.

Nikki: Deep cut.

Nikki: The goats are eating my Pagan.

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: My Pagan.

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: I just love what she says.

Salina: That's a good movie.

Salina: I might have to go queue that up.

Nikki: You should.

Nikki: It is a good movie.

Salina: Well, speaking of good movies, and just maybe possibly my worst opening ever, we have been doing the Bernard Pivot questions, so we have, yes.

Salina: Who inspired James Lipton's side the back of the studio?

Salina: So our next question on the list is if you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

Nikki: Good question.

Nikki: Do you already have an answer?

Salina: I've got my like without thinking too hard about it.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I think it would be a house.

Nikki: Like a dog.

Nikki: A house dog.

Salina: Absolutely.

Nikki: They have the best life.

Salina: Absolutely.

Salina: Like a rich person.

Nikki: I was going to say.

Salina: You really don't even have to be rich.

Nikki: It doesn't have to be rich.

Salina: People really take care of their I.

Nikki: Just want to be a loved I want to be my dog.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Well cared for, well loved pet.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: 100%.

Nikki: I look at my dog during the workday.

Nikki: He finds a sunny spot and just lays in it for hours.

Nikki: And then I stand up from my desk and he walks over to me and waits for his walk.

Nikki: And we go walk together and he sniffs things and he goes to the bathroom and he's happy now.

Nikki: He's so old that he can't hear us anymore.

Nikki: So in order for us to get him back in, when he goes out into our backyard to go to the bathroom, we have to treat him every single time.

Nikki: That's the only incentive we can give him to get him to come back in, which is unusual for us.

Nikki: We're not big treaters because we don't want him to gain weight because he's a little dog.

Nikki: But we do treat him every time he comes in now.

Nikki: So he gets a treat every time he goes to do the thing he's supposed to.

Nikki: Which is just the dream.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: Like every time I get up and go to work, I just want a treat.

Nikki: And I guess you could say my paycheck is a treat, but whatever I want, like a doughnut.

Salina: You know what I mean, absolutely.

Salina: Although I understand why dogs want table food.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Oh, sure.

Salina: Every time I'm like, sure, man, I get it.

Salina: I'm sorry.

Salina: This feels, like, really unfair.

Nikki: Honestly.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Here's your kibble, friend.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And then you accidentally take a whiff.

Nikki: And you're like, my dog's life got markedly better after we had kids and stuff started falling onto the floor.

Nikki: And so he's had a lot more in the last couple of years than he ever had up to that point.

Salina: And, you know, they're giving him ice cream under the table.

Nikki: This is what I'm saying.

Nikki: It's happening.

Nikki: Dogs have not just dropping it.

Nikki: Right?

Nikki: Yeah, I'm sure.

Salina: Not when I'm watching lick my ice cream cone.

Salina: Now I'll lick my ice cream.

Salina: Let's lick the ice cream cone together.

Nikki: That's disgusting.

Nikki: Yeah, that's gross.

Nikki: And I love my dog.

Salina: I feel like, can we also try and tackle the plant?

Salina: Because I think that's an interesting oh, shoot.

Salina: You're going to be reincarnated as a plant.

Salina: I think I'm going to go wisteria.

Salina: There's no good reason, except I love wisteria, and I think I love it when it's pretty, but also it usually shows up at the very beginning of spring, and it's only there for a minute.

Salina: So it's kind of like a Girl Scout cookie.

Salina: You don't get to see it that often, and so it just makes it more special.

Nikki: I get that.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So I think that's what I'm going to go with.

Nikki: I'm torn on whether I want to be a flower that comes from a bulb, because you get to hibernate for, like, half the year.

Nikki: That's pretty sweet.

Nikki: That or like a magnolia tree, because you get to be part of life year round.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: And then you get to flower, like, twice a year.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: So I'm torn those would be my two.

Salina: I thought you were going to say sunflower.

Nikki: I don't think sunflowers are very pretty, personally.

Salina: Really?

Salina: Yeah, but they're so neat.

Nikki: They are very neat.

Nikki: You know, a morning glory is a flower I'm obsessed with because they only open in the morning.

Salina: I'm literally not sure I know what those look like by I think they're.

Nikki: Kind of like blue.

Nikki: They're very pretty.

Nikki: The important thing is they only open in the morning, and I'm fascinated by.

Salina: Anything that does like that.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I'm also fascinated by a Venus fly trap.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I see them.

Nikki: I used to have a Venus fly trap.

Nikki: They're fascinating to me.

Nikki: You can put your finger in a Venus fly trap, and it closes really slowly, so it's not like snapping you in there, but it will totally close and try to digest you.

Nikki: Yeah, I'm fascinated.

Salina: I was also wondering if you might say Venus fly trap just because I think that's an interesting answer.

Nikki: See, my other answer, because I'm petty, would be poison ivy, because I want to leave myself behind on people won't forget me.

Salina: But people are also really trying to actively kill you.

Nikki: That's true.

Nikki: But they can't.

Salina: There you go.

Salina: As the person who gets poison ivy, more than any soul, the person who gets poisoned by ivy.

Nikki: I get the ivy poison.

Salina: Three leaves, let it be.

Nikki: Wait, that's wrong.

Nikki: Leaves of three, let it be.

Nikki: I learned what poison ivy looks like in the last couple of years.

Nikki: Again, as a person who is massively allergic to it, it is astounding that it took me until I was in my thirty s to learn what it looks like.

Nikki: The leaves of three, let it be.

Nikki: I've known that since I was like eight.

Salina: Sure.

Nikki: I didn't know what it meant.

Salina: Leaves of five, stay alive.

Salina: I always forget that one.

Salina: But poison oak is five leaves, and you're not supposed to or five points or whatever, and you're not supposed to mess with that either.

Nikki: Why would you say stay alive?

Nikki: I thought you were telling me to eat that.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: I don't think it's right.

Salina: No, just don't touch things with fives.

Salina: Three or five.

Nikki: Are you revealing to me how you would do on the Wilderness Experience?

Nikki: Oh, Terry's episode?

Salina: Yeah, go ahead and pivot us there because I will probably die.

Salina: Casey watches naked and afraid.

Salina: And naked.

Nikki: He watches naked and afraid.

Nikki: Selena watches naked and afraid.

Salina: Well, yeah, because they're out there and they're up to something they shouldn't be.

Salina: Call back.

Salina: But he watches that show, which I think is I'm sorry, you don't get any money.

Nikki: They drop you off you don't get any money.

Salina: No, they just drop it's like bragging rights, I think.

Salina: And they drop you off somewhere like and you're naked, and they give you like two sticks to rub them together.

Salina: And it's like all the harshest places on the planet.

Salina: And this sounds terrible to me.

Nikki: Everything about that sounds awful.

Salina: I would die the first day.

Nikki: I would probably survive a little while just out of sheer stubbornness.

Nikki: I feel like the type of person that would refuse to die.

Nikki: I believe that people are like, why won't you die?

Salina: I'm not going down.

Salina: So I think that I can firmly say, and you will back me up, that I'm a stubborn person.

Salina: Very persistent.

Salina: But when it comes to nature, I know who's the boss.

Salina: I alluded to this earlier, but if end of times comes, I'm just going to kind of like I'll just let it take me.

Nikki: You'll let the wisteria take you.

Salina: Take me back to whence I came.

Nikki: Take me to my home.

Salina: Something about dust to dust, ashes, ash, whatever.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So the wilderness experience.

Nikki: So this is season three, episode eight of Designing Women, the Wilderness Experience.

Nikki: Bernice treats the ladies to a three day survival course in the wilderness, but they aren't prepared for the realities of so rugged an experience treats right.

Salina: That's all.

Nikki: So this one aired January 9, 1989.

Nikki: Selena gave me a little selena gave me a little trivia here.

Nikki: Meg Wiley, who plays Dorothy in the episode, will return as Miss Ulali Crown in season five, episode 17.

Salina: There'll be a test we won't pass.

Nikki: I've forgotten that already.

Nikki: So we're calling this episode Get on the Bus, Gus, written by LBT.

Nikki: And directed by David Trainer.

Nikki: General reactions, Salanna?

Salina: Well, I think I was I was fighting words.

Salina: I think I was already kind of alluding to this, but this all sounds terrible to me.

Salina: Three days in the wilderness, trying to hoof it with strangers.

Salina: What, prove we can do something that's not necessary anymore?

Salina: No, thanks.

Nikki: Unless you're naked and afraid.

Nikki: Then it's necessary.

Salina: I want to be clothed and satisfied.

Nikki: Clothed and at peace.

Nikki: I want that show.

Nikki: Yeah, give me that one.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's called life of a dog.

Salina: Where's the closed part?

Salina: Right?

Salina: Where's the Danish art of coziness experience?

Salina: That's what I wanted to be involved in.

Salina: What about you?

Nikki: So I don't think and you can keep me honest, I don't think we've ever really seen Julia go up against another alpha female.

Salina: Yeah, I don't think so.

Nikki: I don't think we've seen that.

Nikki: So I think this was a new look into her personality.

Salina: Yeah, I think the closest maybe is the killing all the right people.

Nikki: Yes, that might be true.

Salina: Imagine imaging.

Nikki: Spoiler alert.

Nikki: I hated it.

Nikki: I did not like Julia's look, in this whole episode, I found it really obnoxious that when given the chance to collaborate with someone else and potentially learn from someone stuff she didn't know, her choice is to abandon them and strike it out on her own and really strike out.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So can I talk a little bit about the other women that we meet?

Salina: Because that was another one of my general reactions, and I think this is sort of I think these two are going to correlate, at least a little bit, but you better hope so.

Salina: I know I'm a little frightened.

Salina: I'm naked and afraid.

Nikki: She's not naked, guys.

Salina: Or am I stubborn?

Salina: You all will never know.

Salina: So I think we're getting LBT's version of a woman from the north.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And it's pretty unflattering, and it's really an unfair stereotype, and I think that has to be pointed out because that's a good point.

Nikki: I didn't think about that.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I mean, we're all p***** off when we get these negative Southern stereotypes, but this one walks in and I'm like, Julia.

Nikki: Doesn't look that much better, though.

Salina: Oh, I agree.

Salina: This is my dislikes.

Nikki: Okay, we're on the same page.

Salina: Yeah, don't worry.

Salina: I always dislike things.

Salina: It's part of my brand.

Salina: But the dialogue is also insinuating.

Salina: Beth and big edie or lesbians.

Salina: There's no problem with them being oh, really?

Nikki: I didn't pick that up at all.

Salina: Are you serious?

Nikki: I'm dead serious.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Well, that was the insinuation that I was left with, but for me, it was in a way where they're like the b*** of the joke, and that's less fine.

Salina: And definitely some jokes about their lack of femininity.

Nikki: I definitely felt that.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: I think I was reading it as this was their, quote, unquote, letting their hair down, but maybe putting their hair in a ponytail.

Nikki: I don't know how to describe it, but this is when they sort of become their I didn't read it that way, but now that I'm saying it.

Salina: Out loud, go watch it again and tell me what you think.

Salina: What's that thought?

Nikki: I mean, I definitely felt the playing up their masculinity, but not in a sense I didn't interpret that.

Nikki: Although maybe in the 80s it would have meant that I don't assume that.

Salina: About I think it was also being in the 80s.

Nikki: So I don't assume that just because someone because a woman chooses to dress a little more masculine or carries herself in that way, I don't assume that correlates to her sexuality.

Salina: No, I don't either.

Nikki: And so I think for me, watching the episode, that didn't register with me.

Nikki: Now that you're saying that if I put on my 1980s glasses, maybe it.

Salina: Does, you got to put on your 1980s glasses.

Nikki: I thought this was just their chance to let it all hang out.

Salina: And if LBT didn't feel that way and that wasn't the insinuation and I picked up on subtext that maybe wasn't there, then my apologies, but it felt like a stereotype of multiple layers to me and not a kind one.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: My next one is a multilayer.

Nikki: Well, I only have one more.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: And that's that.

Nikki: I want to be on Bernice, Charlene, and Suzanne's side of the trip.

Salina: Yeah, they were having fun.

Nikki: They were having way fun.

Salina: They were having a good time.

Nikki: Like, super fun.

Nikki: I want to do that with them.

Salina: Totally agree.

Nikki: There were s'mores involved.

Salina: I mean, do you need anything else?

Nikki: I don't think so.

Salina: Can we talk about something Julia says about the way Southern women are conditioned to be with other women?

Salina: As a reminder?

Salina: Okay, this is Mary Joe talking.

Salina: To start out like this big old tough girl I went to school with named Rhonda.

Salina: Every day after PE.

Salina: She wiped her face right on my blouse.

Salina: Every night.

Salina: I just washed it out.

Salina: I mean, I never questioned it or anything.

Salina: Mary Joe, that's just the way Southern women are raised.

Salina: We can give a man the dickens, but we're taught always to be polite to other women.

Salina: It's just conditioning, something I myself have been able to transcend on occasion.

Salina: I just was wondering, did that resonate with you?

Salina: Did that strike you at all?

Salina: Does that relate to your Southern experience?

Nikki: That is an interesting question that I think has a lot of layers, and.

Salina: I love being asked on the fly.

Nikki: No, I don't remember being conditioned or having it ingrained in me that you act a certain way with women, other women, but the idea that you are just polite to everybody, that definitely you don't get into it with people that you don't know.

Nikki: Casual strangers.

Nikki: You don't challenge them.

Nikki: You just sort of let it go.

Nikki: It helps that that's my personality anyway.

Nikki: But I'm just sort of like, whatever.

Nikki: You live in your world, I'll live in mine.

Nikki: But I think that was conditioned in terms of how we interact with other women.

Nikki: I think it's just the female experience in our country that there's not room for all of us.

Nikki: And I think as women were raised.

Salina: Turned into Hunger Games.

Nikki: Exactly.

Nikki: We're conditioned to believe that there is this scarcity that's happening.

Nikki: Just whatever it is, if it's jobs, if it's men, if it's education, there's only room for so many of us at the top.

Nikki: So we have this way of tearing one another down.

Nikki: But we're women, so we do it in a nice way.

Nikki: We don't tear each other down openly in the way that I think men might.

Salina: That feels especially Southern, I think, a non aggressive aggressive.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: I don't know if that answers the question.

Salina: I think it absolutely does, and I think it was a very nice on the spot answer.

Salina: I think I'm the same.

Salina: Yeah, I definitely believe in social and societal conditioning.

Salina: I don't even know that's up for debate.

Salina: Debate, that's a thing.

Salina: But yeah, I'm not sure my experience is what Julia described.

Salina: I think I think mine was the same as yours, which was you need to be polite and respectful to everyone when you're learning those lessons.

Salina: You're a child.

Salina: So obviously that is pointed a lot towards adults.

Salina: I do think one thing that's different about the way I was raised is that I was taught from a young age that it was okay to tell all people, really, regardless of their sex or age or anything, how I felt and how their actions made me feel.

Salina: And I actually think that's different for most kids.

Salina: I think that's different for most people.

Nikki: I don't know if that was ever I do not tell people how I feel, and I don't know if that's a product of my raising or if it's just I don't know where that comes from.

Nikki: But I have been struck on several occasions watching my daughter in particular because I watch her through the lenses of another woman, trying to like, is there some way I should be guiding her differently or better and make sure that she's picking up on lessons or not picking up on those societal cues that I don't think are necessary.

Nikki: And I am so impressed watching her interact with other kids and how blunt she is.

Nikki: Not in a rude way, but just like, nope, I'm playing with that right now.

Nikki: Thank you.

Nikki: I'm so impressed with that, and I hope that's something that we can continue to cultivate in her, because for me, I'm more likely to just be like, oh, whatever's fine.

Nikki: Whatever you want is fine.

Nikki: That's fine.

Salina: Yeah, sure.

Nikki: You can have this.

Nikki: And she's just like, no, thanks.

Nikki: I'll play with it myself.

Nikki: And I just love that, and I hope she can keep going that way.

Salina: Well, I think it already says something that you're watching her in that way and wanting to be a guide for her.

Nikki: It's my job, man.

Nikki: That's what I'm here for.

Salina: Yeah, but I don't know.

Salina: All parents look at it that way, especially, like, navigating things as a woman, necessarily.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: But maybe all women parents do think that maybe I need to shut up because I don't know.

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: Honestly, it's not something you just get into conversations with women about.

Nikki: But I think my mom told me a long time ago that as a parent, your job is to make your child's life even just 1% better than yours.

Nikki: And so I believe, based on stories my mom's told me, that she was very successful in doing that for me.

Nikki: And so I get the benefit of being part of a generation of women who are building on women before us who have said, this is an injustice against women.

Nikki: You guys are seeing this, right?

Nikki: We don't have to live this way.

Nikki: So now I get the benefit of seeing that benefiting from that and then getting to take it a step further and apply it to my daughter in ways, like, maybe it wasn't applied to me.

Nikki: So we didn't have the same opportunities in science and engineering that men did necessarily because of the way we were conditioned in school.

Nikki: So I know that, and now I can look out for that and say, like, no, it's cool, man.

Nikki: You're allowed to do that if you want.

Salina: Take that coding class.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: Take all those coding classes, right?

Salina: Yeah, for sure.

Salina: We want to talk about strays.

Nikki: We do.

Nikki: I got one fashion note.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: That neon jacket and leg warmers outfit that Charlene was wearing at the top of the episode, does this seem familiar to you at all, this little number?

Salina: It does seem familiar.

Nikki: Wowza.

Nikki: That's all I have to say.

Nikki: I think I owned a jacket those same colors at one point in time, maybe.

Nikki: Was it a starter jacket?

Salina: Yeah, it definitely looks like something I left on the playground one time.

Nikki: Wowsy.

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: It's a whole vibe.

Salina: And it looks like that neon pink and blue of the 80s.

Nikki: Yeah, that teal blue.

Nikki: It looks like the Igloo coolers.

Nikki: They're coming back now with, like, 80s vintage or early 90s vintage.

Nikki: Igloo coolers.

Nikki: That's what this looks like to me.

Nikki: Yeah, that was one of my strays.

Nikki: And then I think my other stray is that I think we might have a piece of trivia worth remembering.

Nikki: Okay, so last episode, you imparted with us that Mary Joe drives a Volvo, and since there's going to be a test, I think we should all remember that Suzanne seems to live off West Hacker Boulevard.

Nikki: I can't find a real place named that, but she said she was chasing her pig down West Hacker Boulevard.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Salina: Yeah, I had that, too, but I had west hiker.

Salina: Oh, well, was it hacker?

Salina: I look at the cut lines.

Nikki: That's just their interpretation when they do, because it's based on subtitles.

Salina: If it means anything, there's also not a west hiker.

Nikki: Oh, okay, good.

Salina: No hikers or hackers.

Nikki: Suzanne lives off a totally fake road, but that's where maybe she lives.

Salina: There you go.

Nikki: All right.

Salina: My stray was when Mary Joe is telling Anthony what happened to the other campers in their group.

Salina: She says that grizzly ate their food.

Salina: There are not grizzly in the southern eastern United States.

Salina: So just that felt like an easy one to know, especially for someone as.

Nikki: Well read as LPT.

Nikki: That's all.

Nikki: That felt so easy to what?

Salina: Do I even know what'd you like in this one?

Salina: Nikki?

Nikki: We left sugar bakers.

Nikki: You get excited every time we leave Sugar Bakers.

Salina: Every time.

Nikki: My other thing that I called out that I really liked, I loved Anthony's explanation of who he'd worked with to get on the trip.

Nikki: He just kept saying, some white girl, some white girl, some white girl.

Nikki: And there's no question in anyone's head that that's who he was working with.

Salina: Yeah, I will tack on to that, that he was also a high point for me and I have on here.

Salina: I always love how smart and quick he is in sticky situations.

Salina: And it was that, I don't know, some white girl.

Salina: And you know what?

Nikki: They were all white, so it's like a sense of confidence and quick thinking.

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: You just commit to the bit and you're there.

Nikki: I love it.

Salina: Also with I liked also him coming to rescue Julia and Mary Joe.

Salina: One, because it was humbling for them and they needed some humbling for sure.

Salina: At least Julia, and also because it felt like more than the old college try to include him.

Salina: He didn't just pack their bags.

Salina: Right.

Salina: He also rescued them.

Nikki: That's true.

Salina: Good.

Salina: You know what?

Nikki: I should have noticed that because that's been one of my recurring complaints.

Nikki: You're right.

Salina: My last like is that I like that assumptions get turned on their heads in this one.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: I don't think that most people who watch the show to this point would have thought that Bernice, Charlene, and Suzanne will be the ones killing it in the wilderness while Julia and Mary Joe struggled.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: I thought that was a good choice.

Salina: And who doesn't love an underdog?

Nikki: I do.

Nikki: I love an underdog.

Nikki: I really do.

Nikki: What about what you didn't like in the episode?

Salina: The pitting of women against one another?

Nikki: Good call.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: It just didn't really work for me.

Nikki: It kind of sucks.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I would have at least preferred, even if it was going to be that way because let's not for the very reasons that you were saying before.

Salina: Society has told us that there's, like, three spots for women, so we all have to kill each other.

Salina: We all have to take that spot.

Salina: We all got to get that man, we all got to get that person in our lives.

Salina: We all whatever, and that's fine if we want to put that reality, that unfair reality in or that unfair thinking, rather, if that's going to be the case, can we at least not have them come to an understanding by the end?

Salina: Like, there wasn't even ever a resolution to it.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: That was weird.

Nikki: I thought, yeah, Julie may be so mad, she should have just been held accountable in some way or yeah.

Nikki: Anthony swoops in, saves the day and they still get their pen.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: It irritates me.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: That did not work for me at all.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I think this is just again, to your point earlier, because your general reaction was my dislike, which was joy in this episode.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Big Edie and Beth were a little bossy for my taste as well, but Julia wasn't coming off great.

Salina: She was coming off very snotty little high mighty, I think, and I didn't love that.

Salina: And why wouldn't you at least consider listening to two people who've joined the.

Nikki: Wilderness Experience several times intentionally, like, Julia's here by accident.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: So when you're somewhere by accident, learn from the people who know what they're doing or make the most of the situation.

Nikki: And Julia just was, like, intent on hating it and also intent on being an ahole.

Nikki: And that was really obnoxious to me.

Nikki: I understand why LBT had to give her that viewpoint, because they couldn't all just go on this trip and have fun.

Nikki: There had to be some tension somewhere.

Nikki: But to your point, could there be tension elsewhere?

Nikki: Could they have been racing against a group of men?

Nikki: Feels trite to make it men versus women again, because we've done that a few times.

Nikki: But could it have been something else?

Nikki: Maybe even something amorphous, like a race against Mother Nature or something?

Nikki: Could it have been something different than just, like you said, putting women against women?

Salina: I think Lei Akoka should have been out there, and then we could have seen Bernice try and get with them.

Salina: That seemed to be the that's a good point.

Nikki: I even would have appreciated the two groups racing against one another.

Nikki: Like, there was a little bit of that, but, like, if Julia had committed herself to just beating her sister, I would have even liked that.

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: That's women on women crime I can get behind because it's sisters that's believable.

Nikki: That's just part of the sister relationship.

Nikki: I would have loved that.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: But yeah, to take Julie and it would be against character for Julia just to stand down and take direction from these other women.

Nikki: But I think it was just a missed opportunity to not even collaborate with them and try to do something.

Salina: Missed opportunities.

Salina: Well, speaking of missed opportunities, but not really.

Salina: Do you want to rate this sucker?

Nikki: I do.

Nikki: My rating scale is Bathrobe pig chases.

Nikki: That's good.

Nikki: I gave it a four out of five, which is feeling high after what I just said.

Nikki: But I actually really I enjoyed the episode.

Nikki: I watched it a couple of times.

Nikki: It was just Julia that gets under my skin.

Nikki: Like I love leaving sugar bakers.

Nikki: I love an outdoor adventure.

Nikki: I loved Berry.

Nikki: Nice.

Salina: I just hated Julia.

Nikki: I loved hearing from the other women.

Nikki: I loved hearing what motivated them to get out there.

Nikki: Like, even big older ladies, too.

Nikki: The older ladies, too, yeah.

Nikki: I just loved all that.

Nikki: It was cute.

Nikki: I liked it.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: What about you?

Salina: I give it a 3.3 out of five.

Salina: Georgia grizzlies gigi's.

Salina: The old gigi's.

Salina: The premise was a great one.

Salina: I like that.

Salina: But the execution just slightly off.

Salina: I wanted more time with Bernice's crew, who was really taking care of business, and I wanted less time with Mary Joe and Julia for all the reasons we've discussed.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Who buttered our biscuits this episode?

Salina: I'm going.

Nikki: Definitely Bernice.

Nikki: She was just a bad a like, I was not expecting her to be so amazing.

Nikki: She was just incredible.

Salina: That's what she does.

Nikki: I loved when she I didn't write the line down, but when she turned at the end, like, you could see this slow build up that like it's getting to her head.

Nikki: She's getting a little and then she was like, basically, we're going to leave the two old women behind.

Salina: They're dead weight.

Nikki: We're going to take over the world.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: I think if we had had maybe eight more hours in the wilderness, we would have turned into Lord of the Flies.

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: Right?

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So we were at a good cut off point for her power, I think.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: It was a little too much for.

Salina: Her, but I think she was also my choice because she's just the best and because just don't underestimate her.

Salina: She might be the smartest person in the Designing Women universe.

Nikki: It's between her and Anthony, though.

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: Anthony is pretty smart.

Nikki: And actually, as you were talking earlier about Anthony, I would put him I still bernice wins the episode for me.

Nikki: She still buttered my biscuits.

Nikki: But so did Anthony because he made off pretty good in the episode.

Nikki: He barely had to suffer out in the wilderness and he still got his Pin a Cindy Bird song or whatever.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: It's also a great name.

Salina: So who served us?

Salina: Lumpy.

Salina: Gravy.

Nikki: Stupid Julia.

Nikki: Stupid ego.

Nikki: So obnoxious.

Nikki: LBT.

Salina: Beautiful face.

Nikki: I know.

Nikki: Stupid beautiful face and amazing delivery and incredible poise.

Nikki: Just a grumpy attitude.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: LBT.

Nikki: Is not doing her any favors lately.

Nikki: In my eyes.

Nikki: She's been a little unlikable lately.

Salina: It's been a couple of bad episodes, I think, for her.

Salina: Mine was Julia and Mary Joe just.

Nikki: They had a you put Mary Joe in the category.

Salina: Well, Mahara, this is because I just think they had a pretty rough go at it.

Nikki: Like, how dare you?

Nikki: I'm bucking up.

Salina: Mary Joe's like my favorite character.

Nikki: She's a delight.

Salina: It's more of this idea of similar to the last episode when I just boiled it down to the things that happened to Suzanne.

Salina: If you just boil it down to the things that happened to the two of them, they're fighting with these women, their tent collapses, their food gets eaten, they get lost.

Salina: And even though Anthony rescues them, when they get back, they have to face the fact that they've been bested by Bernice, Charlene and Suzanne.

Salina: I think they've got some lumpy gravy over there.

Nikki: Yeah, that's true.

Salina: My gravy lumps.

Nikki: Grump lump.

Salina: My lovely gravy lump.

Nikki: Grave lump.

Nikki: Gravy lump.

Nikki: Whatever.

Salina: Perfect 80s things.

Nikki: Just had one.

Nikki: The reference to Julia as the terminator terminator is very 80s.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And a classic Designing Women reference at this point.

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: Mine was the whole genesis for this episode.

Salina: The idea of a women's wilderness leadership retreat.

Salina: I'm sure some form of this hellscape still exists, but it just seems like this time period is the beginning.

Salina: Sisters doing it for themselves.

Salina: Don't take away my leg warmers or my briefcase.

Salina: Here's my shoulder pads, and I'm going into the wilderness and I'm going to kill a bear.

Salina: I don't know, it just seems like it all fits together.

Salina: How about some Southern things?

Nikki: We had a Deliverance reference when Julia and Big Edie are around the campfire.

Salina: Really should have put that on the Bingo card.

Nikki: Yeah, maybe the next iteration.

Nikki: Yeah, because somebody's going to win eventually.

Salina: Somebody is.

Nikki: Miss Atlanta Arboretum was a title that Suzanne said she had.

Nikki: It's a funny title, but I don't think it's real.

Salina: Not that I could find.

Salina: And thank you for pronouncing that.

Salina: You should have seen me.

Salina: I'm like arboretum.

Salina: Arbitorium.

Salina: What's happening?

Nikki: Arboritum.

Nikki: The Waltons.

Nikki: I put under Southern because I've never actually watched the show.

Nikki: My parents love it and they will be like, on the floor if they ever listened to hear that.

Nikki: I haven't.

Nikki: But Charlene says the two old ladies in their group remind her of the two ladies in The Waltons.

Nikki: It's a TV show about a rural family in Virginia during World War II and the Great Depression.

Nikki: What you should all know about it is at the very end they say, goodnight, John Boy.

Nikki: Goodnight.

Nikki: So and so.

Nikki: Good.

Nikki: Not so and so.

Nikki: And it was a very popular ending to a TV show.

Nikki: At one point there was a piece of trivia somewhere in something I read about how popular of a statement that was.

Nikki: It was everywhere at one point in time.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Also on CBS.

Nikki: Oh, was it?

Nikki: Oh, good call.

Nikki: My last one was ledford Mountain.

Nikki: That's where Bernice's group planted their flag.

Nikki: That is a real place.

Nikki: Or two real places.

Nikki: There's a Leadford mountain in Union County, Georgia and one in Yancy County, Georgia.

Salina: Oh, two.

Nikki: Two.

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: We just do what we want.

Salina: Well, that sounds good.

Salina: I always want to do what I want.

Salina: I think my only other Southern reference is Virginia because that's where Dorothy and Evelyn are from.

Nikki: The Waltons are from Virginia and Blue Ridge.

Salina: Something there in the water.

Salina: How about references?

Salina: We need to talk about a pith helmet.

Nikki: That's what Mary Joe says Bernice is probably sitting around wearing while she waits on them.

Nikki: Right?

Nikki: Otherwise known as a safari hat.

Nikki: You remember the bad guy in jumanji?

Nikki: That's the hat.

Nikki: There you go.

Salina: There you go.

Nikki: And the second one I had was Lee Ayakoka.

Nikki: I'm going to guess your notes are more detailed than mine.

Salina: We'll see.

Nikki: Mine say that at the beginning of the episode.

Nikki: Charlene says some of his top executives took the Wilderness Experience class.

Nikki: Googling told me he is or was an American automobile executive best known for the development of the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto cars while at the Ford Motor Company in the for reviving the Chrysler Corporation as its CEO during the 80s.

Nikki: He was president and CEO of Chrysler from 78 and chairman from 79 until his retirement at the end of 1992.

Nikki: He was one of the few executives to preside over operations of two of the Big Three automakers.

Salina: It's more than I had.

Salina: I think the other thing is just to I don't know if it would be as how to impress upon people.

Salina: Like, I think Leia Coca is sort of like talking like, about Jeff Bezos or something today.

Salina: Yeah, when I'm talking just an industry titan that rises.

Nikki: Did you know him before?

Nikki: This is the first time I've ever heard this name.

Salina: Oh, really?

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: That's why we're talking about this reference.

Nikki: I had no idea who this person.

Salina: Was for this time period, too.

Salina: It would be like mentioning him and when the same token is like, Donald Trump.

Salina: So those were the people that people saw as, like and I do mean this as businessmen.

Salina: 1989.

Salina: You know Braun Schweiger?

Salina: It's a type of sausage.

Nikki: Oh, I looked that up.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: I've had it before.

Salina: I just didn't realize it was like, an umbrella type.

Salina: I thought it was just one very specific type of sausage that confused me.

Salina: But it's kind of like potted meat.

Salina: Unlike casey loves it, but his grandfather is Polish, and that was a big treat for them to eat that regularly.

Nikki: Oh, good.

Salina: I'll have it for our next theme that's okay.

Salina: Our next theme day garment district in New York City.

Salina: This is where Big Edie and Little Edie the other one I already forgot their names.

Salina: Dot dilly.

Salina: Whatever.

Salina: It doesn't matter.

Salina: It doesn't matter.

Nikki: It doesn't matter.

Nikki: I'm going to continue thinking about it.

Salina: Yeah, I will.

Salina: For five days.

Salina: So just wanted to mention that that's where they worked.

Salina: But also, it is a 200 year old neighborhood in Manhattan in New York City.

Salina: Its name comes from all of the fashion related work that happens there, including design, production, merchandising and manufacturing.

Salina: Nestle's Crunch, that was a very specific candy that they used.

Salina: It wasn't just, like, random chocolate bars.

Salina: So my question was, was this product placement?

Salina: I couldn't find that.

Salina: But what I can tell you is that Nestle's Crunch is something that has been product placed in a lot of different TV shows and movies over the years.

Salina: But I think the reason that it stuck out to me so much is because Dorothy had, like, 20 bars in that bag when she pulled it out, and I was just like, why are there so many?

Salina: She must have been shopping at Costco before it existed.

Nikki: She's a grandma.

Nikki: Like, you always just show up with extra stuff.

Nikki: That's what grandmas do.

Salina: Here's 25 chocolate bars.

Salina: Everyone gets ten, pretty much.

Salina: And then my very last one was Indian wrestling.

Salina: Just to say, we used to do this when we were kids.

Nikki: Is that leg wrestling?

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: Yeah, we used to do that and.

Salina: Probably called it that, so we used to when we were kids.

Salina: And my notes and yes, this is offensive.

Salina: It's also completely inaccurate.

Salina: It's not Indian or indigenous in any way, shape or form.

Salina: But I just want to say, for the record, it is fun.

Salina: Let's just call it leg wrestling.

Nikki: Leg wrestling.

Salina: And leave it at that.

Salina: But you lay down at opposite ends, you put your opposing legs up in the air, and one person tries to flip the other one.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: Everybody knows what it is.

Nikki: No, that's a good point.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: It's just funny to hear you explain it and then do the hand motions, which no one else can see.

Salina: They're very good.

Nikki: It's a lot of flight attendant going on.

Salina: I'm going to land that plane.

Salina: I'm going to land it.

Salina: That was all I had.

Salina: So what you find in cut lines?

Nikki: I have three.

Nikki: There was a line cut early in the episode when Suzanne showed up.

Nikki: Not worth repeating, necessarily, but it's worth noting, in case you didn't put the pieces together, she was not excited about the wilderness experience, and that line bore that out.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: After the ladies hear about the pen they're going to get at the end, Bernice had a cut line.

Nikki: She genuinely thought she was meeting Lee Ayakoka and maybe even have a chance to marry him.

Salina: This is the episode I want to see.

Nikki: Turns out he had just gone through a divorce, and she was looking for her window into a relationship.

Salina: I see you, Bernice.

Nikki: And then at the tail end of the episode, there was a cut line after Julia said, I told you we'll talk about it later.

Nikki: So after they get their pen, suzanne's trying to get Julia's attention.

Nikki: She says, I told you we'll talk about it later.

Nikki: And then it just cuts, and there's no resolution to it.

Nikki: It was a cut line where Suzanne said, next time we should get this big black girl to be on our team.

Nikki: And she's pointing to Anthony.

Nikki: That was cut, so that was it.

Nikki: Okay, so next episode, episode nine, or Tyrone.

Nikki: All right, so we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage.

Nikki: We're on Instagram and Facebook at Sweett and TV.

Nikki: Our email address is

Nikki: Our website is, and if you visit that URL, you can find a support us page where you can find additional ways to support the show.

Nikki: But also it's free to just rate and review us.

Nikki: Just tell us if you like us.

Salina: We love it.

Nikki: Sorry.

Nikki: Tell us that you like us.

Nikki: We don't really care if you don't like us.

Nikki: We do care too much.

Nikki: Yeah, I care too much.

Nikki: I mentally can't handle it if you don't like me.

Nikki: It won't work.

Salina: No problem or anything.

Nikki: It's fine.

Nikki: And hang tight for Extra Sugar, where we're talking about Southern national parks.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Nikki: What's it mean?

Salina: We'll see you around the bend.

Salina: Bye.

Nikki: Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.

Nikki: This week, we have another one I'm really excited about.

Nikki: We thought it would be fun, and I think by we, I mean me, to latch on to the outdoorsy vibe of this episode.

Nikki: Specifically, Julia's mentioned that she and Mary Joe were at the outskirts of a national park.

Nikki: That was toward the end of the episode when Anthony comes to save them.

Nikki: So I thought we would explore Southern national parks.

Salina: I love it.

Salina: I love it so much, I threw a tent up in the backyard.

Nikki: That's true.

Nikki: I was rewarded with a tent view today when I got here.

Nikki: And a s'more.

Salina: You want to look at a tent?

Nikki: You want to eat a s'more in front of a tent?

Nikki: Yes, please do that.

Salina: Sign me up.

Nikki: So I think we've all seen signs pointing to national parks, national monuments, national preserves, national historic sites, all those things.

Nikki: So by way of clarity, before we start, I want to clarify that a national park generally, quote, contains a variety of resources and encompasses large land or water areas to help provide adequate protection of resources.

Nikki: National parks are literally only designated by an act of Congress.

Nikki: In the US.

Nikki: National parks are administered by the National Parks Service, an agency within the Department of the Interior, and there are only 63 national parks in the country.

Salina: That sounds like a lot.

Nikki: Really?

Salina: 63?

Salina: Well, there's only 50 states.

Nikki: There are zero in Georgia.

Salina: Oh, really?

Nikki: Fun fact there are zero national parks in Georgia.

Nikki: So I think the episode implied the ladies were in Georgia, but if they were, there were no grizzlies, and there were no national parks.

Nikki: Now, theoretically, they could have been on the outskirts of a national park being on the Georgia line, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Salina: Okay?

Nikki: So like I mentioned before, the reason I start with all those different designations in the national park service system is because I want to note that national parks, national monuments, national battlefields, each of those designations affords the location different levels of protection and requires different levels of administration by the national park service.

Nikki: So our home state of Georgia has eleven sites administered by the national park service, but as I mentioned, no official national parks.

Nikki: So since I wanted to talk about national parks, I guess I won't be talking about any in Georgia.

Nikki: So I'm sorry for that.

Nikki: But what I'm going to do instead is I'm going to take us on a road trip around the south to visit some fun sounding national parks.

Nikki: And then at the end of the segment, I'll run through a couple of those interesting national park service sites that are in Georgia and are administered by the national park service, but just aren't national parks.

Salina: Okay?

Nikki: So first up, we're going to go to Florida.

Nikki: So if we're on a road trip, we're starting in Florida.

Nikki: Our neighbors to the south are home to three national parks, so Georgia has none.

Nikki: Florida has three.

Nikki: My personal favorite, and I think I might have mentioned this in the episode recently where we talked about Florida experiences.

Nikki: My personal favorite, and not because I've been there, but because it sounds amazing and it's on my bucket list, is Dry Tortugas National Park, which is about 70 miles west of key west.

Nikki: So it's off the coast of Florida.

Nikki: According to the national park service website, this 100 square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands accessible only by boat or seaplane.

Nikki: The park is known the world over as the home of the magnificent Fort Jefferson.

Nikki: Picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs, and marine life, and the vast assortment of birdlife that frequents the area.

Nikki: In fact, less than 1% of the park is dry land, so most of what you'd see when you visit is marine life and water.

Nikki: The central piece of the park, as I just mentioned, is Fort Jefferson.

Nikki: It's a massive but unfinished coastal fortress.

Nikki: According to Wikipedia, it is the largest brick masonry structure in the western hemisphere and is composed of more than 16 million bricks.

Salina: And it's unfinished.

Nikki: And it's unfinished.

Nikki: There's a story there, and I didn't write it down for this segment.

Nikki: I'm sorry.

Nikki: But there is a story to why it's unfinished.

Salina: Leave something for the people.

Nikki: I know I got to leave you guys with a little something.

Nikki: So if we leave Florida speaking of leaving, let's move up north to South Carolina.

Nikki: Our neighbors to the east sure, don't leave me that way.

Nikki: Are home to Congory National Park.

Nikki: This 26,000 acre park is one of the smallest in the National Park System.

Nikki: It lives about 18 miles southeast of Columbia, which is the capital of South Carolina.

Nikki: According to the National Park Service, congari is known for its giant hardwoods and towering pines.

Nikki: Congrey's floodplain forest includes one of the highest canopies in the world.

Nikki: The forest is also home to the tallest 169ft and largest.

Nikki: This means nothing to me.

Nikki: 42 m³ lob lolly pines allowed alive today, as well as several cypress trees.

Nikki: These are such hard words alive cypress.

Salina: What do you want for me?

Nikki: As well as several cypress trees well over 500 years old.

Salina: Impressive.

Nikki: I read that it's often referred to as a swamp, but it's actually a bottom land hardwood forest, which sounds like it's different because it's not continuously flooded.

Nikki: It floods when the nearby water sources overrun.

Nikki: The reason this is interesting to me is because that's the same thing that happens over at Swani Creek, the Swani Creek Creek area, where the greenway is.

Nikki: They often have posts online or whatever that say, like parts of the greenway are closed because it's flooded.

Nikki: I think there's similar types of forest.

Nikki: The Environmental Protection Agency's website says 200 years ago, magnificent bottomland forests covered almost 30 million acres across the southeastern United States.

Nikki: Today, only about 40% of that area still supports these productive and unique ecosystems.

Nikki: It's estimated that losses of these types of swamps reached rates as high as 431,000 acres per year from 1965 to 1975, largely due to conversion to croplands, particularly for soybeans in some regions of the lower Mississippi flood plain, only a small percentage of these original bottomland hardwood forests even remain.

Nikki: The last thing I want to say about Congrey is that there was a significant advocacy effort to have it designated a national park.

Nikki: It was heavily logged for many years, despite nearby citizens arguing about its value to the local ecosystem.

Nikki: It was originally designated as a wilderness area, which is a National Park Service designation in the late 1980s, and then finally designated by Congress as a national park in 2003.

Nikki: So it was a long run.

Nikki: I had not heard of that one before Congary.

Nikki: Yeah, I think this might have been the first time I've heard of it.

Nikki: So if we leave South Carolina and keep heading up north, we'd hit Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Nikki: It's an area of 311 sq mi in the Blue Ridge section of the Appalachian Mountains in Northern Virginia.

Nikki: It's less than 100 miles from DC.

Nikki: That surprised me.

Salina: Yeah, I know what Shenando is, but I don't think I had any knowledge of where it was.

Nikki: Yeah, same.

Nikki: The effort to found it began in 1901, when freshman Virginia Congressman Henry Flood introduced legislation to create a national park encompassing the Appalachians.

Nikki: His campaign to create the park was unsuccessful and didn't gather any steam until 1926, when Congress authorized the creation of the national park, with the exception that no federal funds be used to purchase the park.

Nikki: So Virginia slowly acquired the lands through a very convoluted and honestly sounds a little dramatic process.

Nikki: It sounds like there was a lot and maybe even excessive use of imminent domain, which I think pretty much means they just take the land from the people.

Nikki: So it sounds like there's a whole backstory about people being in the great American legacy way, just sort of being evicted from their property and the property being taken over by the state.

Nikki: That was a little sketchy sounding.

Nikki: Finally, in 1936, president Roosevelt dedicated it as a national park.

Nikki: So here are a couple more fun facts about shenandoah before we continue on our road trip.

Nikki: Some of the rocks exposed in the park date to over 1 billion years in age.

Salina: That's nuts.

Nikki: Billion years.

Salina: It's wild.

Nikki: In the early days, the park was segregated.

Nikki: In fact, segregation was built into park plans, resulting in a separate facility at Lewis mountain for black visitors that was by all accounts markedly lower quality than the facilities for whites.

Nikki: They even distributed maps of the park showing that as the only location in the park for black visitors.

Nikki: But even when the park opened in 1939, the interior department was anxious to desegregate the park as well as all of their managed parks.

Nikki: So fast forward one world war and a drop in tourism due to that war and other things that really encouraged desegregation.

Nikki: And by the early 1950s, all park facilities were desegregated.

Nikki: And then the nearly 3000 miles appalachian trail runs through shenandoah.

Nikki: Appalachian says in shenandoah national park, you can cross the appalachian trail more than 30 times without even getting out of your car.

Nikki: So if you're not an outdoor Dorsy person but you want to see the appalachian trail, head to shinandoa.

Salina: I'm sorry, I'm like totally thrown by this.

Salina: First of all, segregation is stupid, okay?

Salina: Just to be clear, in case you want my opinion on that.

Salina: But to segregate the outside, it's weird, right?

Salina: Doors is just right up there with one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

Salina: So I think that's throwing me sorry, a little bit.

Salina: No, but like, if you see a weird look on my face, I was.

Nikki: Noticing that I was trying to process.

Salina: And it's like it just broke my brain.

Nikki: So I actually separated that point about segregation from the next point I'm going to make because it's almost hard to process and they are not in time, necessarily close to one another.

Nikki: But my next point was that shenandoah is the most dog friendly park in the system.

Nikki: Felt like somehow those two points just for listeners, like enjoyment should be separated.

Nikki: But yeah, it's kind of astounding that an entire national park, a national park authorized by congress was authorized and intended to be segregated.

Nikki: But I thought it was kind of interesting that while that was happening in Virginia, there was this federal interest in desegregating what you said the outdoors and making it something that all Americans have the right to.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: What's wrong with people?

Nikki: It's wild on that note, but pet friendly.

Nikki: But it's pet friendly.

Nikki: They're allowed in all campgrounds and on many you said dogs.

Nikki: Dogs, not cats.

Nikki: I don't know that they specify cats.

Nikki: I'm not sure.

Nikki: So if you leave Shenandoah and you drive 8 hours west, you can hit Kentucky's.

Nikki: Mammoth Cave National Park.

Salina: I want to go there so bad.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: It's a nearly 53,000 acre or 83 square mile plot of land encompassing the longest cave system known in the world.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: So in terms of history, I'm just trying to start with a little bit of history of these places.

Nikki: The national park had a relatively short route to national park dumb.

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: Is that a word?

Nikki: Especially compared to the kind of the saga at Shenandoah?

Nikki: So in 1926, private citizens formed the Mammoth Cave National Park Association to protect it.

Nikki: And then in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park was officially dedicated.

Nikki: It then became a World Heritage Site in 1981 and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1990.

Nikki: This place is wild.

Nikki: So, first of all, the cave system contains more than 420 miles of surveyed passageways.

Nikki: And apparently new passageways are being discovered all the time.

Nikki: 420 miles.

Nikki: That's a lot.

Nikki: Mammoth, if you will.

Nikki: About 10 miles of that.

Nikki: 420 miles is available for touring.

Nikki: The Hardest tour.

Nikki: It's not a lot.

Nikki: The hardest Tour is apparently a five mile, six hour, quote, belly crawling, wild cave tour.

Salina: Would you do this?

Nikki: It depends on how narrow the passage is.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: So we recently watched oh, gosh, I don't remember the name of the movie, but it's a new movie on maybe, like, Amazon or something.

Nikki: So it's got Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, and they had to crawl through a little tiny passageway at one point, and I had trouble breathing just watching them do it.

Salina: Lost City.

Nikki: Lost City.

Nikki: That's it.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: Super cute movie.

Nikki: I really enjoyed it.

Nikki: Any hoozy?

Nikki: Those passageways were really small, so if that's what we're talking about probably not.

Salina: So this is why it's hard.

Salina: So the same token that I'm like, I so want to go there, the other part of me is like but.

Nikki: There are lots of other options.

Nikki: Yeah, no, there are lots of other options.

Nikki: Some of the cave passageways are enormous.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I want to be able to walk through.

Nikki: Yeah, no, this is one of the many tours they offer, and I don't.

Salina: Remember if it's in the Mammoth Cave system or whatever, but there is, like, the place where they do the concerts.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: They didn't mention that here.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Maybe it's just in some other set of caves or something.

Salina: But I think the idea of that to go to a concert, like, in a cave is amazing because the acoustics are supposed to be, like, top notch.

Nikki: I was kind of thinking the acoustics might be bad, just echo a lot.

Salina: Supposedly they're amazing.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: But somebody made me feel bad.

Salina: Like, what is it doing to those?

Salina: Is it bad for that to be happening underground?

Salina: And the answer is probably yes, it is.

Salina: Listen to what you're saying about some of these other parks and why they exist.

Salina: Because we were just like, killing everything left and right.

Nikki: So on that note, there used to be an underground river tour by boat in Mammoth Cave, but they closed it in the early 90s for both logistical and environmental reasons.

Nikki: So part of what they do at the National Park Service is make sure that we're not having environmental ramifications that could be prevented in the context of enjoying environment.

Nikki: We also need to protect it.

Salina: It is.

Salina: And it's so hard because you don't know what you don't know.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: It's like the butterfly effect.

Nikki: Right?

Nikki: Exactly.

Nikki: So a couple more fun facts that we'll talk about.

Nikki: I read that even though Kentucky itself obviously experiences I don't know.

Nikki: Obviously it experiences all four seasons, it remains perpetually 54 degrees underground in the caves.

Nikki: Doesn't change regardless of what's happening outside.

Salina: Can we go there right now?

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: It sounds nice, right?

Nikki: The cave system houses a few varieties of animals known as troglobites.

Nikki: That is, species that are specifically adapted to live in a cave environment.

Salina: Sounds scary.

Nikki: No, they're cute.

Nikki: No.

Nikki: These residents include eyeless fish.

Nikki: Could you imagine a fish with no eyes?

Salina: No.

Nikki: Yuck.

Nikki: Sorry.

Nikki: Fish.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: How dare you?

Nikki: Cave salamanders and an endangered albino cave shrimp.

Nikki: There is a shrimp living in a cave somewhere.

Nikki: That's crazy.

Nikki: It's wild.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: So if you can handle more, you would leave Mammoth Cave National Park.

Nikki: Drive another 8 hours and you would hit Arkansas's Hot Springs National Park.

Nikki: A 5000 acre or 8.68 square mile park.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Bring on the hot springs.

Nikki: Featuring 47 thermal hot springs yes.

Nikki: It is simultaneously the oldest and one of the smallest national parks in the system.

Nikki: The park's earliest days date back to the creation of Hot Springs Reservation by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832.

Nikki: Established before the concept of a national park existed, it was the first time that land had been set aside by the federal government to preserve its use as an area for recreation.

Nikki: It officially became a national park in 1921.

Nikki: The hot springs themselves have been used as therapeutic baths among nonnative populations for more than 200 years, and obviously among native populations for much longer than that.

Nikki: Along the back of the mountains, there is a series of buildings that service bathhouses.

Nikki: This row of buildings is known as Bathhouse Row.

Nikki: They are collectively recognized as a National Historic Landmark as well.

Nikki: It sounds like all of the bathhouses are no longer operational, but some are.

Nikki: And you can definitely access the hot springs on a visit.

Nikki: I didn't write any of this down.

Nikki: But I also came across a couple of articles or sources that talked about how these places were used for medicinal value in the early 19 hundreds and late 18 hundreds.

Nikki: There was a whole protocol.

Nikki: Like you went into the hot spring for X number of minutes you came out, you came to temperature, you did this, you did that.

Nikki: And it was to cure a variety of illnesses, including, I think, things like TB and things like that.

Salina: Well, I don't know about that, but.

Nikki: There is something and like arthritis and.

Salina: Relaxation aspect of that and just fresh air.

Salina: But I think there's a lot to be said for the natural healing of the Earth and what it can do for people.

Salina: This is the way that going to the ocean just makes you feel a certain way, the ionization in the air and everything.

Salina: I think that's something just that's really amazing about being on the planet.

Salina: Can I add in one thing?

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: There is a ten acre project coming to the Southeast.

Salina: It's going to be the first immersive hot Springs and Spa.

Salina: And it's going to be in South Forsyth County.

Salina: Here in Georgia.

Salina: Oh, cool.

Salina: It's going to be like this amazingly huge destination spot, and I cannot believe it's going to be in Georgia.

Nikki: Oh, that's exciting.

Salina: Warm.

Salina: Have you ever been to hot springs?

Nikki: I haven't.

Salina: So we went to some in Costa Rica, and it is just a cool experience.

Salina: A lot of these places do it up.

Salina: There's more natural ones and there's ones that they just put a lot of stuff into it where they make it look less natural.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: But it's still fed by natural hot springs.

Nikki: I think that's what these bathhouses would have been.

Salina: Those would have been right.

Salina: I don't see how these would be in Georgia, but either way, it's just a cool experience.

Nikki: Well, I didn't write it down here, but one of the things I read about the hot springs is this idea that the water trickles down into Earth, goes down near the core, which is what warms it up and then comes back up.

Nikki: All along the way, it's soaking in minerals.

Nikki: And so that is so mineral dense that to your point, that's got to be good for your body.

Nikki: It's got to be healing in some way.

Nikki: And it's just interesting to me how the medical field at one point this was something doctors prescribed you, was this regimen of getting into the hot springs, getting out of them.

Nikki: Don't go for too long, don't go for too short.

Nikki: It's just fascinating.

Nikki: Yeah, there's a whole conversation we could have about, like, medicine and modern medicine, but that was interesting.

Nikki: So we're nearing the end of our road trip.

Nikki: Sadly, we have two more stops, and then I'll go through all those places in Georgia.

Nikki: So we're going to go to Texas next.

Nikki: As we all know, everything is bigger in Texas.

Nikki: And.

Nikki: It's in the south, and I'm counting it in the south.

Nikki: It seems like even their national parks are bigger.

Nikki: Big Bend National Park is 800,000 acres, or 1100 sq mi.

Salina: Wow.

Nikki: The park includes the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United States, and it's the only park in the United States that contains a complete mountain range, the Chisos, similar to Mammoth Cave.

Nikki: It didn't take all that long for Big Ben to become a national park.

Nikki: In 1993, the Texas legislature passed legislation to establish Texas Canyon State Park.

Nikki: Later that year, the park was redesignated as Big Bend State Park.

Nikki: Then in 1935, the United States Congress passed legislation that would enable the acquisition of the land for a national park.

Nikki: And by 1944, a big Bend National park opened to visitors.

Nikki: The park protects more than 1200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals.

Nikki: It's mostly desert.

Nikki: That's crazy to me that that many species would live there.

Nikki: It seems like an inhospitable environment, and yet they all come out at night.

Salina: I don't really know.

Nikki: The park is considered the most remote and one of the least visited of the national parks.

Nikki: And maybe as a result, national Park Service measurements show that Big Bend has the darkest skies in the contiguous United States.

Nikki: Oh, bend with A-B-D big bend yeah.

Nikki: Sorry.

Nikki: You thought I was saying big Bend.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Big bend.

Nikki: Parliament?

Nikki: No big bend.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Thousands of stars, bright planets, and the Milky Way are visible on clear nights.

Salina: That's cool.

Nikki: Isn't that cool?

Nikki: Okay, so I'm not a cartographer.

Nikki: Obviously I'm not creating maps.

Nikki: I don't know if this has been the most efficient road trip, but it's mine.

Nikki: So I'm saying we're going to leave Texas, and then if you're heading back toward Georgia, I would have you end up at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Salina: Heck yeah.

Salina: Been there.

Nikki: I was going to say, if this segment has taught me anything, it's that I'm massively undervisiting the National Park system.

Nikki: Like the entire system.

Nikki: This is the only one in the south that I visited.

Nikki: And I'm not the only one.

Nikki: This is the most visited national park in the entire United States.

Nikki: It is an endless forest falling on the Georgia Tennessee border.

Nikki: It was established in 1926.

Nikki: It is home to approximately 1500 black bears.

Nikki: Not grizzly bears, to your point, yeah.

Nikki: And more than 17,000 species of other animals.

Nikki: Those are the ones that have been recorded.

Nikki: Experts estimate there are thousands more to discover.

Nikki: You can fish brook, brown or rainbow trout throughout the 700 plus miles of fishable streams in the park.

Nikki: In fact, the Great Smoky Mountains are one of the last wild trout habitats left in the world.

Nikki: And the Great Smoky Mountains are known as the salamander capital of the world, boasting more than 30 varieties.

Nikki: I think we talked about this in either an extra sugar or maybe a main episode at some point.

Nikki: But the Smoky Mountains get their name from the natural fog that hangs over the range, looking like large smoke plumes from a distance.

Nikki: Episode 22 Season Two okay, we go.

Nikki: Human library is here.

Nikki: This fog is caused by the vegetation emitting volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals that have high vapor pressure and easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure for whatever that means for me.

Salina: Look.

Salina: That looks blue.

Nikki: It looks real nice.

Salina: I like that.

Nikki: The mountains are estimated to be 200 to 300 million years old, making them some of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth.

Nikki: The highest point in the Smokies is Klingman's Dome, which rises to an elevation of 6643ft.

Nikki: It's the third highest mountain in the Appalachian Range.

Nikki: Interestingly.

Nikki: Mount Lacante, also found in the Smokies, is the tallest that's the measurement from immediate base to summit, so not elevation.

Nikki: I know.

Nikki: So it's the tallest mountain in the Appalachian Range, rising 5301ft from its base in Gatlinburg to its 6593 foot summit, both in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Salina: I like gatlinburg.

Nikki: So we've done the national parks.

Nikki: Once you cross back over into Georgia, you could check out eleven other not national park, but administered by the National Park Service parks.

Nikki: So Andersonville, georgia holds Andersonville a national historic site.

Nikki: The Appalachian Trail is a national scenic trail.

Nikki: The Chattahoochee River is home to a national recreation area.

Nikki: Chickamauga and Chattanooga is a national military park.

Nikki: Cumberland island houses a national seashore.

Nikki: Fort Frederica in St.

Nikki: Simon's is a national monument, as is Fort Pulaski in Savannah Plains.

Nikki: Georgia, is home to the Jimmy Carter National Historical Park.

Nikki: Kenneth Mountain is a national battlefield park.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nikki: National historical park can be found near Auburn Avenue in Atlanta.

Nikki: Akmolji Mountains are a national historical park in Macon, Georgia.

Nikki: And we have part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail here in Georgia.

Nikki: So, I heard a lot of things to add to my bucket list as I worked through this segment.

Nikki: I hope you did, too.

Nikki: But this has been this week's edition of Extra Sugar.


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