Waking up in the Grey Whale (aka our Airstream) and seeing actual grey whales (and orcas!) from our windows led to a fantastic morning of whale-watching from our campsite. Seeing a half-dozen grey whales and 2 orcas eating their breakfast just off the shore for two hours while eating my own made this perfect campsite my favorite campsite of all time. #parksonwheels#ilovemylife
Diamond in the Rough
As @thenationalparksgirl was enjoying her soak in the hot spring, the rising sun broke through the limbs of the trees above and struck this one little flower I found. And just like that, the sun rose even higher and the fleeting spotlight was gone.
#Repost from @njensenphoto: "Have you visited Mesa Verde?
In places like this you can only visit by tour group, I'll often linger long enough to catch a crowd free shot like this. The park service has ladders to access Balcony House, but the people who lived here had to make a series of climbing moves to access it that served kind of like a password. Then, for some not completely understood reason, all these dwellings were abandoned. What's left is a reminder of how simply people lived in the distant past in the places that we now call home."
"In a way that had no parallel in the national experience, the sequoias had become a catalyst for public and government action. Even as logging continued in some of the groves, the Big Trees of California had achieved an unprecedented status among American trees. For many, they had now become something special - objects of veneration, sacred in their own unique way.
They'd become American icons."
-from "King Sequoia" by William C. Tweed
I was already in love with these behemoth trees, a love first sparked when I visited as a child, then rekindled when we walked among them for three days earlier this summer, and now I can't put this book down. I never knew the immense influence that sequoia trees had in the creation of America's national parks system. And I'm also learning that national parks (and national forests and monuments, as the current controversy entails) are just as often created to make it easier for people to enjoy these natural wonders as they are named to protect those wonders from human exploitation and destruction.
How someone could look at a place like Yosemite Valley, or a tree like these titan sequoias (or an otherworldly desert like Bears Ears), and see nothing but potential profit, I'll never understand. But humans are all too often driven by dollar signs more than by their hearts.
And that breaks mine.