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national parks

Jun 282016
 

It’s summer.  Time for backpacking the high country, wherever that is for you.  For me, that almost always means the mighty high Sierra that runs along the eastern border of California.  For those who’ve never been, it’s so hard to describe the beauty, ruggedness and majesty that lives in those mountains.  Here, we’re approaching the Rae Lakes basin on the eastern side of Kings Canyon National Park, looking down from the almost 12,000 foot Glenn Pass.  An amazing stretch of country and the Rae Lakes area is one great place to make camp and explore.

rae-lakes-panorama-5-2

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View more images from Kings Canyon at http://www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks

May 222016
 

It’s not called the Ahwahnee anymore, but it still is to me.  It’s good old impersonal corporate greed that’s taken the traditional name away.  But, whatever the name, the Ahwahnee is still a beautiful place to be when not enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the park itself.  To call Yosemite a park is even a misnomer of sorts.  It’s so much more.  It’s mother nature at her finest and the way that the Ahwahnee fits in to it all is a beautiful example of how a manmade structure can elegantly harmonize with the beauty of nature.

yosemite-ahwahnee-dining-2

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View more images of Yosemite at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Apr 052016
 

Nothing not to like about Joshua Tree.  It’s so unique and ethereal.  Hanging out one evening, the light and change of colors was so dramatic I was laughing for joy.

joshua-tree-sunset-7

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View more images of Joshua Tree at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Jul 182015
 

Mid summer.  That time of year when the high elevations in the mountains start opening up with many snowless trails.  I can smell the pines now.  Feel the quiet.  Alas, I’ll have to wait another year to get up there.  A little tick bite has curtailed my hiking and exploration life.  Rae lakes in Kings Canyon, high in the Sierra, is always a wonderful destination.  Here, Jo Anne is doing her best impression of high a wire artist to cross the creek as we head out.  One of the lakes and the peak of Painted Lady make for an enticing reminder to come back again.

mountain-lake-hiker-creek-crossing

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View more images of Kings Canyon at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Aug 252014
 

I’d already gone through the rapids in the smaller whitewater raft.  After getting through, we stopped in the calmer water and watched and waited for everyone else to get through.  Quickly, I got my camera out of its waterproof box and steadied myself as best I could while bobbing around on the flowing Colorado River, selected a fast shutter speed and caught the big oar boat heading our way.  They sure looked like they were having fun!

river-rafting-oars-Edit-2-1

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View more images of rafting through the Grand Canyon at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Jun 302014
 

Today is the anniversary of Lincoln signing into law the Yosemite Grant Act.  Done during the civil war, it was the first act to set aside and protect wild land for the enjoyment of all future generations of people.  And today, 150 years after, the park service and the Yosemite conservancy are investing over 35 million dollars to help protect and save the incredible sequoias from the mariposa grove.  This image is not from the mariposa grove, but from the merced grove of sequoias, also in Yosemite National Park.  Wherever they are, the sequoia tree is an awesome sight to behold and spend time with.

yosemite-merced-sequoias-man

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View more images of sequoias and Yosemite at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks

Jun 012014
 

Happy June!  This was taken in June a couple of years ago during one of the biggest run-off years.  Certainly not this year, as it’s been relatively dry.  But in this year the water flow was incredible!  Yosemite National Park is such an incredible place to be in any circumstance and if you’ve never been there it’s a must go place.  John Muir and Ansel Adams knew what they were doing when they chose to spend so much time there.  Anyway, I was wandering around the park just taking in the beauty when I ended up here; the infamous place where Ansel Adams took his famous shot, Tunnel View.  The conditions are always changing and the days I was here were gorgeous!

yosemite-valley-panorama

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View more images of Yosemite National Park at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks

Feb 012014
 

I took some baths with borax in them.  And, usually I go away, often to a desert, this time of year.  So, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.  Thus, borax in the desert.  Voila!  This is the notorious Badwater.  Covered with borax, it’s smack dab in the middle of Death Valley.  And what a great time to go in winter, too.  It’s pleasant out, but not hot.

death-valley-badwater-hdr-3-1

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View more images of Death Valley at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Jan 032014
 

I had hiked up the trail past Vernal Falls and then Nevada Falls.  I just kept going.  It was threatening to snow up here above 6,000 feet but I just didn’t care.  I was hiking alone, having a great time.  In the most visited National Park we have I ran into nobody out here, just following the Merced River further up towards its source.  At times I would just stop and listen to the quiet.  Everything was so still and frozen.  Even though it was completely overcast there was a brightness from the white snow.  Then, while hiking, I saw this singular smooth rock in the middle of the mostly frozen river.  It seemed to be asking for just a little bit of space within the freezing water.  And there was just enough river flow hitting it to keep it clear.  For now, at least.

frozen-yosemite-river-1

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View more images of the Merced River and the incomparable Yosemite National Park at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Dec 182013
 

It’s so amazing to be here in amongst the Joshua trees.  I fall into complete awe every time I’m there.  Of course, I’ve never been to the moon, but, I get a sense that this is how I’d feel if I ever did go.  It’s so quiet and unique.  As I did on this particular hike, being off the roads is especially inspiring; wandering in and around and through this incredible topography.

joshua-tree-frozen-sunrise-2-1-2

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View more images of Joshua Tree National Park at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.